Just in time for the holiday season, the COVID-19 pandemic has bestowed another gift to “President” Joe Biden: more power to the federal government.
On Thursday, November 5, the administration rolled out its plan to expand a vaccination mandate to over 100 million workers.
By January 4, 2022, the administration’s attack dog OSHA will begin to enforce a rule that covers companies with 100 or more employees. Those companies, in addition to taking care of business and earning profits for their stockholders, must ensure:
- their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or
- their unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear face coverings while on the job. (This exemption does not apply to health care workers, who must in every case be vaccinated.)
Workers who test positive, either vaccinated or not, must be immediately removed from the workplace.
Hefty Fines for the Disobedient
Along with OSHA’s power of enforcement—i.e., fines in excess of $13,600 for each “serious” violation—comes the obligatory accounting, reporting and paperwork. (The fines, by the way, can be 10 times that amount for ”willful or repeated violations.”)
OSHA’s Incremental “Progressive” Approach
Normally, OSHA rules affect employers with 10 employees or more. In its temporary ruling, OSHA said that because of the “unique occupational safety and health dangers presented by COVID-19…OSHA is proceeding in a stepwise fashion.”
OSHA “is confident that employers with 100 or more employees have the administrative capacity” to obey, comply or pay fines. But, not so fast, even though OSHA “is less confident” that smaller employers can knuckle under without undue disruption to their business, it will take additional time to “assess the capacity of smaller employers.”
OSHA is “seeking comment” to help in its determination regarding applying the rule to smaller businesses. So, small business owners, if you’d like a friendly onsite visit from an OSHA inspector, go ahead and complain. You could also be receiving some tax advice from an IRS auditor.
The Job’s Not Finished Until the Paperwork Is Done
In the meantime, affected large companies, some of whom don’t need OSHA’s help, will need to surrender to OSHA’s reporting requirements. Here’s what employers will need to do:
- Require employees to notify the employer after receiving a positive COVID-19 test.
- Give employees written information about what the OSHA rules require.
- Keep COVID-19 vaccine records and test results and make those records available to the employee. That includes “the aggregate number of fully vaccinated employees at a workplace along with the total number of employees at that workplace.”
OSHA does not require employers to pay for COVID-19 testing. However, the employer must pay for COVID-19 testing if required by collective bargaining agreements and regulations.
States’ Rights vs. Federal Regulators
Also, the OSHA temporary rule preempts state and local laws. The rule states openly, “OSHA intends to preempt any State or local requirements that ban or limit an employer from requiring vaccination…”
Good luck with that, OSHA.
Currently there are 12 states that ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates. For example, Florida, Texas, Indiana and Tennessee prohibit state or local governments from requiring anyone, including employees, to show proof of vaccination.
So, OSHA will have to lawyer up. A number of red state governors have already promised to fight the federal mandate. When the requirement goes into effect, the Republican National Committee (RNC) says it will file a lawsuit against the Biden administration — piling on will be 23 states’ attorney generals.
What the courts will have to decide is whether OSHA workforce safety standards like accident prevention, safety harnesses, and the like, apply to COVID-19. The argument is that the vaccine mandate is illegal because COVID-19, like measles, chicken pox, or influenza, is not a work-related hazard, and OSHA has no jurisdiction.
Another argument is that the mandate would cause employers to leave their jobs during this tight labor market.
However, legal challenges could delay OSHA enforcement, and when OSHA finally gets its day in court, it will have to prove there is a “grave danger” to workers that only OSHA’s power can overcome.
One employment attorney quoted in a Fortune Magazine piece put the argument into perspective: “The merits of the rules, such as the grave danger argument, might be moot if, God willing, the pandemic truly ends before the matter is fully litigated.”
But I wouldn’t count on it, the Globalists have no plan in letting this end.
This is going to take outright noncompliance from the world population.