WASHINGTON, DC – At least three different trucking groups have filed lawsuits against the Biden Administration over what they allege is “irreparable harm” that would be caused by the COVID vaccine mandate.
Truckers, retailers join forces to sue Biden over vaccine mandate https://t.co/CVlbq0Gi3n
— WND News (@worldnetdaily) November 10, 2021
The group of truckers and retailers, the National Retail Federation, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the American Trucking Association, and many others have joined to file a class-action lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Their complaint is the new OSHA rule (that’s at least temporarily suspended) that requires businesses that have over 100 employees to force their employees to get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
The groups wrote their issue which was in a court filing:
“This is not a case about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, which are a marvel of modern medicine. Petitioners’ members have taken extraordinary measures to protect their employees, customers, and communities during the pandemic. They have distributed, incentivized, encouraged, and in some cases mandated the vaccine.
“This is a case about American businesses that do not want to face the immediate and irreparable harm of losing employees, incurring substantial and unrecoverable compliance costs, and worsening already fragile supply chains and markets.”
The American Trucking Associations (ATA), the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Retail Federation filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 https://t.co/FEeNZ3FNh0
— Cherie Buckingham (@upcyclealleykat) November 11, 2021
The initial deadline that was presented to companies with one hundred or more employees was slated in December, however, OSHA decided to push back enforcing the mandate until January of 2022. The reason was their concern of interrupting the supply chain even further during the holiday season.
The president of the National Retail Federation, Matthew Shay, issued a statement regarding the implementation of this new mandate:
“We have consistently and repeatedly communicated our concerns about the practical challenges of meeting those arbitrary targets. However, it appears that our only remaining course of action is to petition for judicial relief.”
These groups that are suing the Biden Administration claim that this mandate will create an undue hardship as many people refuse to get the vaccine for various reasons. Those who stand firm in their decision will be forced to work elsewhere at a company that is not affected by the mandate.
While this particular case works its way through the courts, there have been other challenges already heard in other states. For example, in Louisiana, a federal appeals court blocked the mandate that required the vaccine be given to employees.
Additionally, the Attorney Generals in a minimum of twenty-six states have also filed suit against the Biden Administration over the mandate. Their hope, same as the unions, is to scuttle any attempts at forcing someone to choose between being employed and being vaccinated.
Since it appears that there is a legislative tide of courts blocking any such vaccine mandates, the Biden Administration is now urging companies to voluntarily comply. While the Administration claims that they will eventually win all legal battles, they are asking companies to voluntarily enact the policies before the court cases play out.
Trucking associations warn Biden that his vaccine mandate would 'cripple an already strained supply chain,' say US could lose 37% of truckers https://t.co/08f3cHfeL1
— Sunshine PA Sue. (@PennslytckySue) November 7, 2021
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke regarding the issue:
“We think people should not wait. We say do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.
“This is about keeping people in the workplace safe. And so what we’re seeing is more businesses and school closures and more lost jobs that keep us stuck in a pandemic that we’re trying to end.
“We’re trying to get past this pandemic, and we know a way to do that is to get people vaccinated. So people should not wait. They should continue to go move forward and make sure that they’re getting their workplace vaccinated.”
A Superior Court judge late Thursday denied a request by the union representing 1,800 members of the state police to block the implementation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaccine mandate until details can be collectively bargained, a move the union says has prompted dozens of resignations.
Judge Jackie Cowin ruled that the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) had failed to show that the implementation of the mandate would either cause irreparable harm to its members or that a delay would serve the public interest.
“Suspending the deadline for union members to obtain full vaccination would be against the public interest which the defendants are charged with protecting, and cause more harm to the Commonwealth than is caused to the union by denial of such relief.”
The union filed its lawsuit seeking an injunction last Friday and held a hearing in front of Cowin on Wednesday.
SPAM President Michael Cherven said in a statement Friday night:
“To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing.
The police union said it was “unfortunate” that alternatives were not offered:
“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling; however, we respect her decision.
“It is unfortunate that the Governor and his team have chosen to mandate one of the most stringent vaccine mandates in the country with no reasonable alternatives.”
Gov. Charlie Baker ordered the vaccine mandate for all Executive Branch employees, including state police, on August 19. The mandate set an Oct. 17 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
Cherven said troopers have been on the front lines during the pandemic and should have been given consideration:
“Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness as a line-of-duty injury.”
The judge’s ruling leaves troopers with just days to decide whether to take the vaccine. Any officer who does not meet the deadline will be terminated.
Approximately 20% of Massachusetts State Police officers remain unvaccinated.
State police said that although some troopers may have begun the process for resignation or retirement, none had stepped down as of Friday because of the mandate:
“We will decline comment. No retirements occurred today because of the vaccine issue. There was only one retirement today, a Major (had nothing to do with the vaccine).
They may have submitted paperwork or indicated to the union that they plan to do so, but no retirement orders were cut today.”
SPAM said the mandate will lead to increased strain on an already understaffed law enforcement mission:
“The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledge this by the unprecedented moves to take officers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons and human trafficking, to name just a few.”
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