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Biz: Biden Vax Mandate Rules Worse Than Thought

November 16, 2021

A coalition of Michigan business groups Tuesday morning briefed the press on 490 pages of draft emergency rules that were released last week by the President Joe Biden administration that requires employers with more than 100 workers to make sure their employees are vaccinated.

“It’s large, it’s complicated, it’s burdensome, and has repercussions for employers and employees alike, frankly, impacts more employers than previously expected,” said Wendy Block, vice president of business advocacy at the Michigan Chamber.

The draft rules include 13 pages of instructions for employers on how they should count workers to determine if they’re covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency rules.

“The ETS comes with two compliance deadlines, Dec. 5 and Jan. 4,” Block said. “Dates that are just around the corner and are going to be difficult for many employers during their already busy holiday season and amidst a severe supply chain crisis.

The state has already indicated that it will comply with the federal rule.

On Saturday, the 5th District of the U.S. Court of Appeals froze the emergency rule in response to a lawsuit.

Block said the court order required the U.S. Department of Labor to respond to petitioners’ request for a permanent injunction by close of business Monday. The petitioners had until the close of business Tuesday to respond to the federal filing.

Block also said the business group will be filing public comments against the rule to OSHA via the mandatory 30-day comment period window that opened last week.

In commenting on the rule, Andy Johnson of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce described it as the “broadest and most far-reaching mandate that OSHA has ever put forward in the history of the agency.”

Michigan Chamber President Rich Studley noted that just 12 hours prior “it was reported that “Michigan, and America’s Pharmaceutical Research and manufacturing companies may soon apply to the FDA for emergency approval of a pill that will be substantially effective in fighting COVID.” That approval, he argued, could make the emergency vaccine rule “obsolete.”

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