Texas Appeals to New Large Business COVID-19 Vaccine Rules – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

What to know

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton says new vaccine rules are an abuse of power and he is asking the court to crack it down.
  • New rules require any company with more than 100 employees to require vaccines or weekly testing or risk a fine.
  • The new executive order will enter into force on 4 January 2022.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a multi-party case against Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 vaccine rules that require companies with more than 100 employees to either order vaccinations by January 4, 2022 or require weekly testing.

“The Biden Administration’s new vaccine mandate on private companies is a breathtaking abuse of federal power,” Paxton said in a statement Friday morning.

OSHA’s mission is “to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards.” To that end, the Biden Administration asked OSHA to issue a temporary emergency standard (ETS) due to the serious danger COVID-19 poses to unprotected people.

According to a report from the Department of Labor filed with the Federal Registry, “OSHA must issue an ETS if the Agency determines that employees are at serious risk from exposure to substances or agents that have been identified as toxic or physically harmful. or from new hazards, and an ETS is needed to protect employees from such hazards. ” Because COVID-19 has killed more than 725,000 people in the United States in less than two years, while millions have been sick, the administration claims the virus remains a threat to workers.

However, Paxton said on Friday that OSHA has only limited power and specific responsibilities and that the ETS goes far beyond those limits.

“This ‘standard’ is outright unconstitutional,” Paxton said. “Bottom line: Biden’s new mandate is bad politics and bad law, and I’m asking the court to crack it down.”

The best White House medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, defended the plan at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday. “We know that vaccines absolutely save lives, and we know that mandates work,” he said.

The new requirements, first outlined by President Joe Biden in September, will apply to about 84 million workers in medium-sized and large companies, although it is not clear how many of these employees are unvaccinated. Tougher rules will apply to an additional 17 million people working in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities receiving money from Medicare and Medicaid. These workers will not have the opportunity to test and must be vaccinated. Workers will be able to request exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

OSHA said non-compliance companies risk fines of nearly $ 14,000 per year. violation.

The ETS trumps state and local laws, including part of the ban on vaccine mandates that Governor Greg Abbott (R) implemented last month when he banned any entity, including private enterprise, from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers. The governor also called on state legislators to pass a similar ban in law during the third special session, but a bill was not tabled before the session ended. Despite some calls for a fourth session, the governor has not yet ordered lawmakers to return to Austin.

The general’s application comes a week after the state filed a separate lawsuit over vaccine mandates for federal contractors, which is also being challenged by 17 other states in two other lawsuits, claiming the mandate violates federal procurement law and is a violation of federal power.

Paxton’s office said it was filing a request for a review by the state of Texas directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and that he will soon follow up with a stay proposal in which he will explain the many statutory and constitutional reasons why The Court must stop the implementation of the ETS.

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