11 States Sue Biden Administration Over Private Employer Vaccine Requirement

As GOP-led states resist vaccines, 11 attorneys general sued the Biden administration Friday. They alleged that it placed an illegal vaccine mandate on 100 employees or more private companies.

Protesters gathered at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 to urge the... [+] Iowa Legislature not to pass a bill to prohibit the imposition of vaccine mandates on Iowa employees. The rally was organized by Informed Choice Iowa, an organization that opposes vaccine and mask mandates. This protest took place as legislators convened a special session and presented a bill that allows for exemptions from vaccine mandates and requires unemployment benefits for workers who are forced to quit their job because they refuse a vaccine. (AP Photo/David Pitt) ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Key Facts

Missouri, Arizona and Montana, Nebraska, Arkansas and Iowa joined the lawsuit, along with five private employers, over a requirement by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration that employers with 100 workers or more must ensure their employees have been fully vaccinated by January 4. Friday's challenge was filed at the Court of Appeals for 8th Circuit. It seeks to halt the mandate pending judicial reviews. The petition claims that the vaccine rule is illegal, unconstitutional and unwise. It also infringes the 10th Amendment and the separation of powers. This petition echos an earlier petition against a federal mandate to vaccine federal contractors. The petition claims that mandatory vaccination policies are up to the states and that the Supreme Court has acknowledged that they do not ordinarily affect the national government. Forbes did not respond immediately to OSHA's request for comment.

Important Quote

Eric Schmitt, Missouri Attorney General, stated that the federal government shouldn't be forcing private employers to get vaccinated. Local business owners told me that the mandate for vaccines would destroy their businesses.

Big Number

84 million. This is how many people are directly affected by the mandate for vaccines to private companies. This is roughly two-thirds the U.S. workforce.

Important Background

Trade groups voiced concerns over OSHAs vaccine mandate. CNN reports that the National Retail Federation stated that OSHA's vaccine mandate was too burdensome for retailers. It is important that the rule does not cause undued disruption to the economy or exacerbate labor shortages. In October, Texas Governor. Greg Abbott issued an executive directive prohibiting private employers from mandating that their employees get vaccinated. Recent Kaiser polls showed that 4 out 10 workers who are not vaccinated would quit their job if they were forced to be vaccinated against Covid by their employers, even if they could get weekly testing.

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11 States file suit against Bidens' business vaccine mandate (Associated Press).

Federal Contractors Facing Push Back Against Vaccine Mandate (Forbes)

10 More States Sue Biden Administration Over Vaccine Mandates (Forbes)