US Postal Service Asks for Mercy Amid Ongoing Federal Vaccine Mandate

US Postal Service Asks for Mercy Amid Ongoing Federal Vaccine Mandate

( – On January 4, Deputy Postmaster General Douglas Tulino wrote a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlining the likelihood the rule implementation will probably lead to the “loss of many employees,” and asking for a compliance extension. As it stands at this point, the OSHA rule requiring businesses with 100 employees or more to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or testing will go into effect on January 10. Considering the government agency is already experiencing staffing and delivery problems, the expected mass exodus of people could negatively impact mail and package delivery.

History of the Mandate

The OSHA mandate, prompted by President Joe Biden, has faced many challenges in court. After conflicting results in various appeals courts across many states, the ruling finally landed in the 6th circuit Federal Court of Appeals for a final ruling of its validity. In December 2021, the court ruled in favor of the mandate by a vote of two to one. The judges in the majority stated their decision stemmed from the COVID-19 spread and mutation, which, they allege, prevents Americans from safely returning to work.

Those against the mandate were unhappy with the courts’ decision and appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) for help. The high court agreed to hear arguments to consider making an emergency ruling on January 7, just three days before the rule is to take effect.

The Postal Service Stance

Sadly, the USPS is struggling to deliver mail on time, with only an 89.8% on-time delivery during the last quarter of 2021, falling short of its goal of 95% during the holiday rush. The organization has already announced a slowdown in services, and Tulino is worried the mandate will set them even further back. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union haven’t revealed their position with regard to the upcoming OSHA mandate rules. However, they did promise to review the ruling, assess how it would affect their members, keep employees safe, and “keep the mail moving.”

Postal Service spokeswoman Darlene Casey assured the public the USPS would continue practicing safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. As for the request to OSHA to extend the deadline for the mandate for the postal service, there’s no word on a response. Perhaps they’re waiting to see what the SCOTUS has to say.

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