The United States Postal Service is asking for a temporary exemption from the federal rules that require employees at companies with more than 100 workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo mandatory testing.
Deputy Postmaster General Douglas Tulino penned a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration warning that the mandate “is likely to result in the loss of many employees — either by employees leaving or being disciplined.”
“While the impact to our service could be devastating at any time of year, requiring the Postal Service to absorb what could inevitably be a dramatic loss of employees at a time when the labor market is extremely tight and in the middle of the Postal Service’s Peak Season would have a potentially catastrophic impact on our ability to provide service to the American public when demand is at its highest,” Tulino wrote.
The new rule is set to take effect on January 10, though OSHA said it will not begin issuing citations for violations until February 9.
Tulino asked OSHA to extend the deadline by 120 days and opt the USPS out of the requirement until court cases about the mandate’s legality have concluded.
The rule is facing numerous legal challenges across the country. The Supreme Court is scheduled to review two challenges to the mandate this Friday (January 7).