EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Federal Vaccine Mandate for businesses with over 100 employees was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6 to 3 vote on Wednesday.
An El Paso business that falls under the umbrella of the large business with over 600 employees says even without the mandate, over 90 percent of their staff is already vaccinated.
Collaborating with the Texas Health and Human Services department to offer vaccines to their employees and families on Thursday and opening it up to anyone on Friday.
“Now because of the Omicron variant that is out there we have some concerns that were going to have some breakthrough cases and therefore we wanted to give the opportunity to our employees to be boosted,” said Hector Paquian the Safety Director Jobe Materials.
Adding that while the mandate did not pass, the company was already prepared with a large majority vaccinated.
“We always want to be a step ahead of it and that’s something that of course we have to abide by the law of the land and that’s something we’d have to consider,” said Paquian.
Jobe Materials are not mandating their employees get vaccinated but they are offering a monetary incentive if they do.
The owner of an El Paso small business says they have contract employees they also have permanent employees and didn’t ask them to get vaccinated, but they did.
“Everyone who works for me absolutely wanted to do it so we didn’t have any issues,” said Kathie Poulos the owner of Vin Valle Vineyards in Canutillo Texas.
Another El Pasoan, Fred Raia says he works for a company that also has over 100 employees, but that the vaccine has not been mandatory.
“If it’s mandatory then everybody needs to get it. Now you’re talking about the issues between what the government can and can’t tell the citizens of the united states to do and that’s very personal and I rather not get into that right now,” said Fred Raia.
While the Supreme Court did not pass the large business vaccine mandate, the court is allowing for the vaccine mandate for health care workers to be enforced.
An El Paso hospital worker says he was required to get vaccinated last year.
“I work in a hospital, but I’m not a nurse,” said Orlando Quijas “We were required.”
President Joe Biden released a statement following the Supreme Courts’ ruling, pleased with the requirement for healthcare workers and disappointed by the blocking of the large business vaccine mandate.
“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated. The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”Portion of Statement by President Joe Biden On the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Vaccine Requirements