Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, said on Thursday that he intends to file a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration over the new federal Covid-19 standards for businesses that have more than 100 employees.
“The federal government does not have the authority to unilaterally force private employers to mandate their employees get vaccinated or foot the bill for weekly testing,” Schmitt said in a statement. “I’ve been in discussions with businesses in Missouri, including a trailer manufacturing company in mid-Missouri, who say that this vaccine mandate will crush their business. We will be on file first thing tomorrow morning to halt this illegal, unconstitutional attempt by the Biden Administration and the federal government to impose their will on thousands of Missouri businesses and millions of Missourians. Missouri will not roll over, we will not back down – we will file suit imminently.”
The announcement came on the same day that the Biden administration released the emergency temporary standard, which was developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and is expected to cover more than 80 million people.
Senior administration officials told The Hill that the standard is “well within OSHA’s authority under the law and consistent with OSHA's requirements to protect workers from health and safety hazards, including infectious diseases.”
They also noted that there exists “well established legal precedent” for the agency’s authority to impose such a measure, saying that OSHA retains “broad authority” when it comes to devising and enforcing workplace health and safety standards.
“Keep in mind that the OSHA rule coming out is not a mandate for a vaccine. Employers can put in a mandatory vaccination program, or there's the other route of vaccination for those who choose to and testing and masks for those other employees that don't,” one official told the Hill.
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