Tri-State companies review OSHA vaccine rules, some states start filing lawsuits against mandates

Coronavirus Watch

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) While companies are starting to review these requirements, more than a dozen states are suing to block their implementation.

People lined up outside First Christian Church in Owensboro for a drive-thru vaccination clinic this morning. Organizers say they’re seeing more getting first, second or booster doses since the first one this past summer.

“Early on in the summer, when there were clinics, anywhere from 30 to 50 people. Recently, the numbers have gone over 100, close to 150,” said Pastor Chris Michael of First Christian Church.

This clinic happens as OSHA’s new rules start, where workers at places with 100 or more workers be fully vaccinated by January 4th, or face weekly testing. Companies failing to comply face up to $14,000 in fines for each violation. It applies to 84 million American workers at medium and large businesses.

“We are still reading them, pouring over them, trying to understand what exactly its going to mean for us,” said Doug Hoyt, CEO of Wendell Foster. He says about 60% of staffers at the campus, which has 370 employees, are fully vaccinated. He says while they’re reviewing the rules, they’re also concerned about the requirement leading to workers quitting.

“Balance that with the fact that we want everybody to be safe and healthy. So, it’s a tough situation, it’s a situation that we’re going to have to be careful about,” he says.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined Ohio and Tennessee in suing the Biden administration over the requirement for federal contractors. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita will sue over the contractor mandate, plus ones from OSHA and the Medicaid mandate.

“This is a direct attack on state’s rights. This is a direct attack on individual liberties and freedom, and it’s a complete overreach of the federal government,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Democratic Party says what Indiana needs is more people getting vaccinated to move forward. Meanwhile, Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie says one health care provider said the mandates for Medicare and Medicaid providers will make problems the industry faces much worse.

(This story was originally published on November 4, 2021)

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