One state takes lead, will not enforce Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate no matter what SCOTUS decides

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(Video Credit: We Are Iowa Local 5 News)

As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the constitutionality of President Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 employees, one state is taking a principled stand and is saying the decision doesn’t matter… they will defy the mandate.

Iowa is one of a number of states that have their own OSHA-approved plan for both government and private employees. They declared on Friday that the state will not enforce the heavy-handed vaccine mandate. Under the order, employers would have to ensure employees were vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. A violation could result in outrageous business-busting fines. Mandated mask-wearing would also be imposed.

“Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts said in a news release that the state has determined its existing standards ‘are at least as effective as the federal standard change,'” the Des Moines Register reported.

“Iowa is among 21 states that have an individual state plan for workplace safety, which gives the state the option of writing its own workplace rules for public and private sector workers. But those rules can’t be weaker than what the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires,” Roberts stated.

“As a state plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor is charged with protecting the health and safety of those in the workplace and has the authority to enforce workplace safety and health standards for Iowa businesses,” he noted. “Iowa doesn’t have a standard requiring the COVID-19 vaccine or testing. But after closely reviewing the federal OSHA Vaccine Mandate, Iowa has determined it will not adopt the federal standard.”

It will be interesting to see if other states follow Iowa’s lead on the mandate and defy the federal OSHA order. Former OSHA chief of staff Debbie Berkowitz asserted to the Des Moines Register that federal officials will probably attempt to take over enforcement of the mandate if state officials refuse to do so.

“The state will be in violation of their State Plan agreement and we can assume Federal OSHA will move to take over enforcement,” Berkowitz said in an email Friday night, according to the media outlet.

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praised the decision, claiming that it protects “the freedoms and liberties of Iowans.”

“I applaud Commissioner Roberts’ decision,” she said in a statement. “We are going to continue to protect the freedoms and liberties of Iowans. The Biden Administration continues to ignore the constitutional rights afforded to all Americans, which our country was built on. Instead, they’d rather dictate health care decisions and eliminate personal choice, causing our businesses and employees to suffer and exacerbating our workforce shortage.”

U.S. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda declared in a statement released on Saturday that “we fully expect” states with their own workplace safety and health rules to comply with the vaccine mandate.

The order is an emergency temporary standard, issued “where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” she asserted.

Americans are cheering Iowa on for defying the mandate:


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