Multiple States Sue Joe Biden Administration Over Work Vaccine Mandates

Several states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio, intend to sue the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for medium and large companies, which requires workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly tests and wear facemasks.

The Department of Labor announced on Thursday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an emergency temporary standard from Friday, mandating businesses with 100 employees or more to develop a vaccination and testing policy within 30 days. Businesses will not have to provide the testing but employees must get tested.

If companies fail to enforce the policy before January 4, they will face a fine of up to $14,000 per violation.

The administration said more than 80 million Americans will be impacted by the new rule.

Hours before the White House set a January 4 deadline, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody announced in a press conference that they intended to bring an injunction against the federal government.

"We started with 15 days to slow the spread and now it's get jabbed or lose your job," DeSantis said.

Moody said in the conference that in the history of the U.S., a vaccine mandate was "unprecedented," "breath-taking" and "authoritarian."

"It recognizes no bounds to its power," she added.

"Just months ago, this is an administration that said that it was not the role of the government to enact such a sweeping policy. Traditionally the health and welfare of its people has been reserved to the states, but not under this administration.

"As soon as this rule is published, we'll be in court. We've read what has been put forth in the public, you've seen what it takes to do a crafty workaround and we won't stand for it. OSHA has never used its authority like this, and it's absurd."

Moody said that Florida was filing a lawsuit jointly with the states of Georgia and Alabama, as well as other organizations, and that the vaccine mandate would cost businesses "millions of dollars."

On Friday, Ohio's attorney general Dave Yost said he will file a lawsuit to try and stop the vaccine mandate.

Yost called the mandate an illegal abuse of occupational safety and health administration powers.

"The president is not our nanny, the president is not our doctor and the president is not Congress," Yost said. "He doesn't have the authority to write laws and he's abusing his authority by promulgating this particular rule."

Other top Ohio officials have opposed the mandate. "My position is that employers should not be told by government to vaccinate or require vaccination nor should they be told they cannot require vaccination," Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said on Thursday.

On Wednesday the U.S. reported 79,820 new cases of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

DeSantis makes his comments
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an event to give out bonuses to first responders held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty