COVID vax file photo

The Biden administration has set Jan. 4 as the date of a federal COVID-19 mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly.

Eleven states including North Dakota have meanwhile filed a legal challenge to the mandate, along with five private employers, in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday morning. Joining the suit are attorneys general from Montana, Missouri, Arizona, Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has said before he is pro-vaccine, but against federal overreach.

“This lawsuit is not about whether people should get vaccinated, it is about opposing yet another federal overreach, this time an attempt by the federal government to commandeer private employers to require their employees to get vaccinated,” he said. “We contend the mandate violates the United States Constitution, including the 10th Amendment. We will be seeking an injunction to prohibit the implementation of this unlawful requirement,” he continued.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued a statement in support of the suit.

“It’s not the role of the federal government or the states to force a vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Burgum said. “North Dakota has been a leader in making safe effective vaccines available to all residents who want them, and we encourage those who haven’t received the vaccine to consult with their trusted medical provider. The Biden administration’s overreaching mandate will only add to vaccine skepticism and resistance and exacerbate labor challenges while intruding on states’ rights and personal freedoms. The courts should immediately block this OSHA emergency rule and protect the freedom of private employers to make decisions on vaccinations that are right for them and their businesses.”

Three key takeaways on Biden’s vaccine mandate

1. The mandate will kick in Jan. 4, but there are a couple of dates before that as well for other conditions of the guidelines, which were issued by OSHA.

2. By Dec. 5, those workers who do not vaccinate must also mask up while on the job, in addition to the weekly testing.

3. Employers won’t be required to pay for the weekly testing, but they will be required to provide paid time off for the vaccinations, including any needed recovery time starting Dec. 5.

Load comments