DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After the Supreme Court’s ruling on the vaccine mandate, a business owner, legal expert and doctor weigh in on how it will impact the Miami Valley.
Stratacache CEO and founder Chris Riegel said the Supreme Court’s stay on the vaccine-or-test mandate takes some of the burden off businesses.
“I think it’s great,” Riegel said. “In business today, we’re dealing with supply chain challenges, labor shortages, the vaccine mandate was one less thing that we needed to be able to have to deal with.”
The digital software and operations company headquartered in Dayton has 300 employees in the Miami Valley.
“We have a big tech worker base here in Dayton, and the challenges of getting and retaining good people are heavy enough, having to then nanny state, ask them their vaccination status then track that and enforce that, it’s more staff, it’s more complexity that we don’t need in day-to-day business,” Riegel said.
Cedarville University professor of history and law Marc Clauson said the Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t come as a surprise because it was determined OSHA’s authority only applies to grave dangers in the workplace.
“You’re affecting people outside their work by requiring them to be vaccinated,” Clauson said. “This is something that follows them everywhere they go all the time, and so it’s not just focused there in the workplace and ends there.”
Even though the vaccine mandate is halted, Miami Valley Hospital chief medical officer Dr. Roberto Colon said it does not mean people should skip getting vaccinated.
“The benefit of the vaccine is not hinging on it being forced,” Colon said. The benefit of the vaccine has repeatedly been demonstrated when we look at the people who are currently in the hospital and the overwhelming majority being those people who are unvaccinated.”
The Supreme Court did allow a vaccine mandate for most health care workers to proceed. Since many hospital systems already have vaccine requirements in place, Colon said the biggest impact will be on the timeline for when vaccinations will be required.
“If you go back, health care institutions, for a very long time, had requirements for vaccinations, the influenza vaccine being one of them, so it’s not unusual for us in health care to have to continue to navigate these vaccines within our environment,” Colon said.
Clauson said it’s likely the ruling will go back to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then back to the Supreme Court before becoming final.
“That is a signal to me that no matter where it goes and where it ends up, it’s going to end up, it’s going to be in favor of those who oppose the mandate,” Clauson said.