President Joe Biden's forthcoming mandate that most US workers get vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 will almost definitely encounter legal challenges. However, those who challenge the norm may have a difficult time winning their claims, according to labor and employment attorneys.
President Biden said on September 9 that the Department of Labor is working on an emergency regulation that will compel all companies with 100 or more employees, totaling over 80 million people, to guarantee that their workforces are completely vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.
New vaccine mandate may face a legal battle
Biden thinks the federal government has the authority to require COVID-19 vaccines through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He previously felt that the federal government lacked the jurisdiction to require COVID-19 vaccines. He also stated unequivocally that he would not impose a national vaccination requirement, as per The Washington Times.
While business leaders have mostly supported the new order and have already implemented their vaccine mandates, several Republican states and the Republican National Committee have warned the Biden administration that it should expect a battle. Brian Kemp, the Republican governor of Georgia, and Kristi Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, promised to fight the new regulation. Yahoo Finance via MSN reported.
According to Condon McGlothlen, a partner in Seyfarth's labor and employment practice area, the lawsuits from state governors and attorneys general might claim that Biden's order breaches the separation of powers between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. Challengers may also argue that the regulation infringes on a state's freedom to determine its healthcare policy.
The separation of powers argument may say that by instructing OSHA to act, Biden attempts to use his executive authority to do something he couldn't or wouldn't try to obtain via Congress without even issuing an official executive order. A state's rights argument might claim that public health decisions are generally made by state and local governments, according to McGlothlen.
Top immunologist attacks Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Meanwhile, an immunologist has expressed remorse over his vote for Joe Biden, citing the president's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, a former assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has suggested that immunizing Americans who already have antibodies from an illness is unnecessary.
Any effort to force Americans who had recovered from the illness to get vaccinated was unscientific, unethical, and unlawful, according to Noorchashm. In announcing plans to compel all private firms with 100 or more employees to have a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested regularly, he accused Biden of delivering one of the most contentious and damaging speeches ever delivered by a president.
Per Newsweek, Noorchashm attacked Biden and his administration in a series of tweets, claiming that he voted for him as a "McCain republican." A Michigan State University employee is suing her employer over its vaccination obligation, and Noorchashm was just mentioned in the case. Those with COVID-19 antibodies should be excluded from the vaccination obligation, said an administrative associate Jeanna Norris.
Several studies have shown that persons who have had a natural infection would generate antibodies that will protect them from COVID-19, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that obtaining the vaccination is the best approach to protect yourself and others.
The president also expressed his dissatisfaction with the distinct minority of elected authorities who are "preventing us from turning the corner" in the pandemic, as well as the 80 million eligible individuals who have yet to receive the vaccine.