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SCOTUS ruling against vaccine mandate impacts hundreds of San Diego businesses

The Supreme Court ruled against President Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees but will allow a mandate for healthcare workers.

SAN DIEGO — The Supreme Court’s ruling impacts hundreds of San Diego businesses that have been fighting the vaccine mandate. More than 430 San Diego County business who have rallied against vaccine mandates say the Supreme Court's ruling against President Biden’s administration's vaccine mandate is a temporary win.

“It was affirming to our business communities choice to stand for freedom for each and every one of their employees,” said Michael Seifert, founder and CEO of PublicSq.

Seifert created PublicSq., which is an app that networks businesses and customers who they say are “freedom loving businesses” who help hire and help customers shop at businesses within their values.

“This is a group of businesses that were committed to freedom, no matter what the Supreme Court were to say this morning,” said Seifert.

However, the group is disappointed in the court's ruling that still allows vaccine mandates for health care workers and allows for private companies to have mandates.

Local employment attorney Arlene Yang says it wouldn't have impacted healthcare workers in California.

“California had already had a vaccine mandate earlier. So it doesn't affect California healthcare workers,” said Arlene Yang, Principal at Meyers and Nave.

Yang says Thursday's ruling does not apply to local businesses with 100 or more employees who have implemented their own vaccine mandate, just those who would have refused and faced a penalty, but the decision is not final, it's just put on pause.

“That doesn't mean necessarily that the rule is dead completely. It just means now it's going to be stayed while the lower court considers what to do,” said Yang.

This does not apply to public employees such a police officer and firefighters.

“The mandates that are currently in place are still in place as it applies to public employees, with agencies that have them,” said Jim Cunningham, counsel for San Diego Firefighters Local 145.

He also represents unionized county employees.

“I can tell Mayor Todd Gloria, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and Governor Newsom, that their mandates that are in place are still legal, and still enforceable,” said Cunningham.

In reaction to the ruling, a county spokesperson sent a statement to CBS 8:

"COVID-19 vaccinations are the best tool we have against the coronavirus. The vaccines help to prevent people from getting seriously ill or dying while being both safe and effective. County Public Health continues to strongly recommend that everyone eligible get vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and others."

Businesses against vaccine mandates say they will continue to fight.

“We expand, we really take this message in stride,” said Seifert.

The Supreme Court’s ruling does not apply to school districts implementing vaccine mandates.

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