LITTLE ROCK (Ark.) -- Republican State officials reacted quickly to President Joe Biden’s new mandate for private employers to require workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday. They threatened a series of lawsuits and other actions in an effort to thwart a requirement that they view as a clear example of government overreach.
Two conservative groups filed lawsuits quickly against the workplace safety rule. A growing list of GOP governors and lawyers general stated that more lawsuits would be filed as soon as Friday. Some Republican-led states have already passed laws and executive orders to protect employers who may not wish to comply.
Through a spokesperson, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who is a Republican, stated that "this rule is garbage." "It's illegal and we will fight it," South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, a Republican, stated through a spokesperson. Henry McMaster, his state's governor, indicated that he plans to issue an executive order prohibiting state agencies from applying the rule.
Since September's Biden preview, states have been prepping for the requirement . The Occupational Health and Safety Administration requirements, which were released Thursday, require companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or have their workers tested every week. For each violation, penalties could reach nearly $14,000. Federal officials have also suggested that the mandate could be extended to smaller employers.
Republican governors and attorneys general in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida. Idaho. Iowa. Louisiana. Missouri. Montana. Nebraska. New Hampshire. Oklahoma. South Dakota announced Thursday that they will file lawsuits against this mandate as soon as possible. The Daily Wire, a conservative media firm, filed a federal challenge to the mandate on Thursday. Companies in Michigan and Ohio were also represented by a conservative advocacy firm.
Robert Alt, a lawyer representing Midwest companies -- Sixarp Packaging and Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company -- stated that both companies already face staff shortages due to the pandemic. He said that the mandate would make matters worse.
Alt stated, "It adds insult and forces them to potentially fire trained employees."
States claim they are focusing their attention on the federal government's role in the lawsuits that they're preparing.
Indiana Governor. Eric Holcomb stated in a statement.
At a news conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticised what he called an executive fiat for the private sector. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds described the mandate as an imposition of personal choice and said that people should be free to make their own decisions about their health care. Recently, she signed a bill that guarantees that those who refuse to receive a vaccine will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
At least 19 Republican-led States sued Biden Administration for a separate mandate that required vaccines for federal contractors employees. Similar lawsuits were filed by three more Thursday.
In a statement released Thursday, Biden dismissed the argument of many GOP governors, lawmakers, that mandating employers would hurt the ability of businesses to keep workers in the workplace.
As the fastest way to escape the pandemic, the administration encourages widespread vaccinations.
Republicans and conservative groups will likely challenge the mandate for the workplace. This is a reflection of another aspect COVID-19's response, from social-distancing guidelines to mask requirements. After the OSHA rules were made public on Thursday, Democratic governors and attorneys-general were quiet. Governor. Gavin Newsom sent a simple tweet message to his followers: "The right decision." North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein also tweeted: "The right action."
Laura Kelly, the Democratic governor of Kansas, was trying to keep a balance on new workplace rules. After a Thursday chamber of commerce event, Kelly stated that federal mandates "tend to not work" and she desired a Kansas-focused way to meet them. However, she did not provide details.
All 26 Republican state attorneys-general have stated that they will fight the requirements in the past, and many of them signed a Letter to Biden confirming this.
Their objection centers around whether OSHA is legally authorized to require vaccinations or testing for viruses.
The top lawyers from the state governments argued in a letter to Biden that OSHA can only regulate health risks specific to job positions and not all hazards. Seema Naanda, OSHA's top legal representative, stated that established legal precedent permits rules to keep workplaces safe, and that these rules can preempt state laws.
However, state legislators and governors have taken a range of actions to try to undermine federal mandates.
Texas Governor. Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, issued last month an executive order interdicting private companies and other entities from requiring vaccines. A bill was proposed by an Ohio lawmaker that would prohibit schools and colleges from exiling students refusing vaccines, and prevent employers from firing employees who do.
Arkansas passed a law that exempts workers from the vaccine mandate if they can show COVID-19 antibodies. However, a larger measure prohibiting employers from asking about vaccination status was rejected by the Legislature. OSHA's rule includes a religious exemption as well as one that applies to people who work only outdoors or away form others, such as at home.
Special legislative sessions have been requested by governors and legislators in several states, including Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas and South Dakota. This is to combat vaccine mandates. The Nebraska governor refused to allow a special session, despite the fact that not enough state legislators agreed to it. Pete Ricketts (a Republican in a GOP-dominated State) has been encouraging them to keep trying.
Ross McGregor, Ohio factory owner, said that he will comply with the rules just like any federal workplace mandate. However, he is not saying that he agrees. McGregor claimed he was vaccinated and has repeatedly opposed attempts by Ohio Republican legislators to stop him mandating the coronavirus vaccination for his workers.
McGregor, who was a Republican state legislator and is now the owner of Pentaflex axle and brake component manufacturer Pentaflex where he estimates that approximately half of the 115 employees have been vaccinated. "Having either a ban or an imposition on mandates is against that."