Virus Outbreak-Vaccine Mandates

Republican state officials are pushing back against a new mandate that private employers require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. They see the mandate as an example of government overreach.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Republican state officials reacted with swift rebukes, Thursday, to President Joe Biden’s newly detailed mandate for private employers to require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, threatening a wave of lawsuits and other actions to thwart a requirement they see as a stark example of government overreach.

At least two conservative groups moved quickly to file lawsuits against the workplace safety mandate, and a growing roster of GOP governors and attorneys general said more lawsuits were on the way as soon as today. Some Republican-led states had already passed laws or executive orders intended to protect employers that may not want to comply.

“This rule is garbage,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, a Republican, said, Thursday, through a spokesperson. “It’s unconstitutional and we will fight it.” His state’s governor, Republican Henry McMaster, said he is planning to issue an executive order keeping state agencies from enforcing the rule.

States have been preparing for the requirement since Biden previewed it, in September. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements released, Thursday, call for companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or be tested weekly. Failure to comply could result in penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation. Federal officials also left open the possibility of expanding the mandate to smaller employers.

The White House said the administration has the authority to take actions designed to protect workers and expects the rule to withstand legal challenges.

Republican governors or attorneys general in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and South Dakota said Thursday they would file lawsuits against the mandate as soon as today. The Daily Wire, a conservative media company, filed a challenge in federal court, on Thursday. So did companies in Michigan and Ohio represented by a conservative advocacy law firm.

Robert Alt, a lawyer representing the Midwest companies suiting — manufacturer Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company and packaging firm Sixarp — said both companies are already facing staffing shortages amid the pandemic. The mandate will make things worse, he said.

“It adds insult to injury and forces them potentially to fire trained employees,” Alt said.

States say they are focusing on the role of the federal government in the lawsuits they are preparing.

“While I agree that the vaccine is the tool that will best protect against COVID-19, this federal government approach is unprecedented and will bring about harmful, unintended consequences in the supply chain and the workforce,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

If you didn't know better you would think POS Biden was out to destroy America. You think China deposits money in Bidens offshore accounts (C'mon man you know the weasel has accounts offshore) everytime the POS hurts Americans....? Biden is a Coward, and a Lying Weasel....jimmy Carter loves Sleepy Joe Biden.

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