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Politics Flurry of lawsuits to greet Biden administration's vaccine mandate

20:01  04 november  2021
20:01  04 november  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Within hours of the Biden administration unveiling a Jan. 4 deadline for 100 million workers to get vaccinated, a small business advocacy group announced it is filing a lawsuit seeking to block the measure.

  Flurry of lawsuits to greet Biden administration's vaccine mandate © Provided by Washington Examiner

“The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is clearly illegal and will have a devastating impact on our small business community and our entire economy," said Alfredo Ortiz, the CEO of the Job Creators Network.

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JCN is suing the administration on the grounds that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't have authority to impose the mandate and that, in any case, there is neither the grave danger nor necessity to issue it.

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It's just one of many court battles set to ensue over the rules, many coming from Republican leaders accusing the federal government of overreach into personal medical decisions.

At least 19 states have filed three separate lawsuits aimed at stopping the previously announced mandate for federal contractors, and the rules are being challenged by most of the Republican caucus in the Senate.

“This federal vaccine mandate is unconstitutional, and I can’t think of a worse decision for Joe Biden to make right now," Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall said in a statement Thursday. "Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is going to create more supply chain blocks, and that’s going to lead to more inflation — of course, Biden knows this, so he’s decided to hold off on enforcement until after the holidays. I will continue to do everything in my power to put a stop to this unconstitutional mandate.”

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Lawsuits have been filed at all levels of government. Some police unions, including those representing Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, have filed suit against local mandates.

In a Wednesday evening call with reporters about the mandate, White House officials stated their belief that the OSHA measure is legal.

"The OSH Act gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them," said a senior administration official. "A virus that has killed more than 745,000 Americans, with more than 70,000 new cases per day currently, is clearly a health hazard that poses a grave danger to workers."

The official added that there is well-established legal precedent for OSHA to "develop safety and health standards," and the White House specifically mentioned that the new OSHA standards supersede any state or local regulations to the contrary, which means states cannot set their own rules for enforcing workplace requirements without federal approval.

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JCN is filing suit along with five midsized businesses and an employee who says she has natural immunity due to a previous COVID-19 infection. Those businesses are Lawrence Transportation Co., Guy Chemical Co., The Rabine Group, and the Independent Bakers Association. The employee, Terri Mitchell, is an administrations manager at Guy Chemical.

Ortiz, JCN's CEO, has long promised to file a lawsuit once the OSHA rules were finalized. His organization made good on that promise Thursday morning.

"The administration’s mandate will exacerbate the worst labor shortage in recorded history by requiring small business owners to terminate some employees who wish not to get vaccinated while also shrinking the pool of job applicants available for hiring," Ortiz said.

Other issues include reduced economic input and added expenses for businesses that must track employee vaccination status and provide paid time off for shots and sick time for recovery from any side effects.

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Any employer who fails to comply will face stiff financial penalties: $13,653 for each offense and $136,532 for violations that are deemed willful.

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To generate publicity, JCN also took out a Times Square billboard calling on Biden to drop the mandate.

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Tags: News, White House, Joe Biden, Mandate, Vaccination, Coronavirus, Business, Healthcare, Law, OSHA

Original Author: Haisten Willis

Original Location: Flurry of lawsuits to greet Biden administration's vaccine mandate

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