NewsCovering Kern County


States show push back to employer vaccine mandate

Posted at 10:27 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 02:39:00-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — When it comes to vaccine mandates, in the past few months large corporations and some cities take the lead by implementing their own. There have also been 27 states fighting back against any kind of mandate.

This ongoing battle is now put to a pause as government officials debate over the president's most recent mandate, some call it unconstitutional to force this decision on someone, while others believe it’s a safety measure that is needed.

Local attorney Kyle Humphrey described those recent challenges will prolong the process.

“The issue is really going to be once it gets to a factual issue is did OSHA really overstep its boundary by doing something only Congress could do. Or is this a valid administrative response given an emergency,” said Humphrey.

This has been the controversy that has only grown stronger in recent weeks. After President Joe Biden issued a national vaccine mandate for large businesses with more than 100 employees.

“That together employ more than 80 million workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” said Biden.

There has been pushback with more than 2 dozen states filing lawsuits against the mandate.

“I think people are sick of being constantly bossed around, restricted, mandated, all these different things. We’ve had enough of it. We want to make our own decision,” said Florida Governor, Ron Desantis.

This past weekend the fifth US Circuit Court appeals put a temporary halt to the new law, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate.”

Officials said they are very confident that the current mandate will survive any legal challenges.

“I’m sure the Biden team will establish there is a health emergency. The other side has to come in and show it isn’t. So, this will be tied up in litigation,” said Humphrey

Humphrey said if the federal government can show this is an emergency that can qualify under OSHA then that will be the controlling law that overseeds any state laws.

Humphrey said eventually they’ll consolidate all the lawsuits into single litigation.

“Eventually they will consolidate all the lawsuits into a single litigation. There will be a drawing and it could end up a more moderate appellate court. Or it could end up in the fifth.”

Humphrey says this will ultimately be decided by the United States supreme court.

“It could actually bypass the fifth or appellate courts on the issue of the stay and the supreme court could say no the stay should be lifted. But the supreme court will ultimately decide.”

If this goes through, it would be implemented in early January and any business that does not follow these mandates could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation, this is according to OSHA'S website, and up to $136,000 for any willful violation.