11/09/2021 / By Matthew Davis
Several large business groups on Thursday, Nov. 4, branded President Joe Biden’s latest Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandate as poorly planned because its implementation falls during the busiest part of the season.
David French, a senior vice president at the National Retail Foundation, said that retailers have taken extraordinary measures during the pandemic to protect employees and customers, including encouraging and mandating vaccination. The deadline given was January 4, 2022.
Michael Hanson, a senior executive vice president at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said the mandate announced by Biden in September and released on November 4, was ill-timed as it would likely affect the holiday season.
The mandate requires employers with 100 or more employees to secure proof of COVID-19 vaccination from workers or force them to get tested for the disease on a regular basis, at least once a week.
Since the president’s announcement of the vaccine mandate for private industry, the seven-day average number of cases in the U.S. has plummeted by more than half. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has chosen to declare an “emergency and impose burdensome new requirements on retailers during the crucial holiday shopping season,” Hanson said in a statement.
Hanson criticized the fines to be imposed by the Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and stressed that retailers want to serve as partners in the push to promote vaccination. (Related: If Americans don’t fight back, OSHA’s medical tyranny will expand to all businesses, regardless of employee count.)
The National Federation of Independent Business also opposed the mandate. Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center, said in a statement that the mandate “restricts the freedom of small business owners to decide how best to operate their own businesses and imposes unwarranted burdens on small businesses that further threaten the small business recovery.”
The federation urged the Biden administration to allow at least 90 days for its implementation. Some other groups backed the standard, with several claiming it should have been stricter.
“Today’s action from the Biden administration, while not going far enough, is a critical first step to keep workers safe on the job as COVID-19 dangers continue,” Marc Perrone, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, said in a statement.
“While we are still digesting the details of the rule, initially we are encouraged by the compliance flexibility given to employers in the standard. We especially appreciate that the administration provided a longer compliance window and made the compliance dates consistent between the OSHA ETS and the federal contractor vaccine mandates,” added Timothy Bartl, president and CEO of the JR Policy Association.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a statement saying that OSHA “made some significant adjustments in the standard that reflect concerns raised by the business community.”
The deadline was pushed back to align with the deadline for federal contractors that were already in place, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre told reporters during a briefing.
The Daily Wire, a news website founded by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, sued the Biden administration over its tyrannical vaccine mandate which requires large companies to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 submit to regular testing.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Daily Wire said that the Dhillon Law Group Inc. and Alliance Defending Freedom had filed a lawsuit on its behalf against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Attorneys for the Daily Wire will also file an emergency motion to stay the mandate.
“The Daily Wire will not comply with President Biden’s tyrannical vaccine mandate, and we are suing the Biden Administration to put a stop to their gross overreach,” Daily Wire co-founder and co-CEO Jeremy Boreing said in the statement.
“President Biden, the federal government, social media and the establishment media have conspired to rob Americans of their freedoms in the name of public health. They have broken faith with the American people through conflicting messaging, false information, and by suppressing data and perspectives with which they disagree.”
The lawsuit alleged that the Biden administration “lacks constitutional and statutory authority to issue the employer mandate, and that the mandate failed to meet the requirements for issuing a rule taking effect immediately without the normal process of considering public comments.”
Dhillon Law Group partner Harmeet K. Dhillon said the federal government does not have the legal authority to compel private employers to ensure their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, and that the administration lacks both the constitutional power and police powers to regulate every aspect of our lives and enforce such a mandate.
“The Biden administration’s attempt to impose this unprecedented and unlawful federal medical mandate on the U.S. workforce without considering the public’s views is arbitrary, capricious, unsupported by the evidence, and would produce a willfully ignorant rule,” Dhillon said.
The OSHA rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to put vaccine requirements in place for all staff, or face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. The agency is allowed to put into place an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) when it determines workers are at grave risk. (Related: OSHA fines would jump by tenfold if reconciliation bill passes.)
Critics slam Biden’s vaccine mandate. Others, including lawmakers, fear that the mandates may exacerbate labor shortages amid supply-chain bottlenecks.
Meanwhile, more than half of U.S. states are suing to stop the Biden administration from implementing the new rules.
“States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic,” said Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat. “It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs.”
Kansas is one of three Democratic-led states, along with Kentucky and Louisiana, to join 23 Republican-led states in the lawsuits.
A group of 11 states, including Missouri, Nebraska and New Hampshire, also said the requirements would hurt businesses and worsen the already tight job market.
“This mandate is unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise,” the states said in their lawsuit, which was filed in the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis.
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