A Dozen States Sue over OSHA’s Covid Vaccine Mandate. Dept of Labor Claims It’s “Not a Mandate”

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OSHA issued its long-awaited “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) on COVID vaccine mandates affecting millions of American workers that requires employers to keep records showing each employee’s vaccination status; Employers must “remove” employees who test positive for COVID from the company workplace and not allow them to return until they have met certain criteria; Employees refusing to be vaccinated must, at their own expense, be tested for the virus on at least a weekly basis, and they must wear a mask indoors. 12 states are challenging the constitutionality of the mandate. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who oversees OSHA, said, “This is not a mandate … it’s a process of getting people vaccinated. And if people choose not to be vaccinated, they get tested. It’s that simple….”

The federal government does not have the authority to unilaterally force private employers to mandate their employees get vaccinated or foot the bill for weekly testing.

UPDATE:   The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit temporarily halted the mandate after multiple states’ attorney generals filed lawsuits against the administration.

Almost immediately after OSHA issued its long-awaited “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) on COVID vaccine mandates affecting millions of American workers, two things happened: 1) a dozen states began filing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the mandate; and 2) Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who oversees OSHA, said, “It’s not a mandate.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis led off by declaring on Thursday that it was filing a lawsuit challenging the mandate, calling it “unlawful” and unconstitutional:

We started [at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020] with 15 days to slow the spread, and now its “get jabbed or lose your job.”

We’re supposed to be a government of laws, not a government of men. This OSHA rule is 500 pages [from] a government bureaucracy … that is being run by executive edict [and] not a government bound by constitutional constraints.

The State of Florida will immediately challenge the OSHA rule in court because it’s inconsistent with the Constitution and not legally authorized through Congressional statutes.

There is no federal police power and the federal government cannot unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation.

Individuals should make informed choices about their own healthcare. It is important to stand up for people’s individual ability to make decisions for themselves.

Walsh begged to differ. On CNN, he told Wolf Blitzer:

This is not a mandate … it’s a process of getting people vaccinated. And if people choose not to be vaccinated, they get tested. It’s that simple….

This is not a mandate. It really is about how do we get the American workforce safe.

Those 500 pages reveal that Walsh is caviling. A summary of the new OSHA mandate declares that:

Employers will be required to determine the vaccination status of each employee and keep records showing each employee’s vaccination status for the federal bureaucrats;

Employees will be required to provide “prompt notice” when they test positive for COVID-19, and then employers must “remove” the employee from the company workplace and not allow them to return until they have met certain criteria;

For those employees refusing to be vaccinated they must, at their own expense, be tested for the virus on at least a weekly basis, and they must wear a mask indoors or while driving with another employee on company business.

All of this is unconstitutional, says Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (which represents two private businesses suing OSHA):

This new rule is illegal and unconstitutional. It circumvents the normal legal process … to claim emergency power to impose a mandate on American business.

At this writing, at least a dozen states are filing, or have filed, lawsuits challenging OSHA on those same grounds — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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