Most Popular Questions around the OSHA Vaccine Mandate
With the new Osha rules coming out in regards to a Covid-19 vaccine mandate, people have all kinds of questions. Let’s look at some of the most popular of these questions circulating right now.
First, people are wondering who Osha is and whether they actually have the authority to create these rules. Well OSHA is not a private or independent organization just throwing these things out there randomly. Their full name is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and they are part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA was first created thanks to a bill passed by Congress back in 1970 that looked to create and set national standards to protect the safety of workers in the US. Beyond creating these rules, OSHA also provides outreach, education and assistance. So in short, OSHA is part of the federal government, and they were instructed by the President to come up with, distribute and enforce this rule.
The second thing some people are wondering about is whether they have to follow this rule if there are laws banning vaccine mandates in their state. Well the truth is, there are a lot of lawsuits being filed right now concerning this very issue, and a federal judge has already put a temporary block in place. Despite all of these lawsuits being filed it is likely that we won’t have in-depth outcomes of any of them just yet. States such as Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana and Texas, have all filed lawsuits in their respective Courts of Appeals, and they are just a few that have. There have also been private companies that have filed similar lawsuits. All of their arguments are just as expected. They all feel like the government is overreaching with this rule.
The third thing to address is that a lot of people think that the OSHA rule does not apply to USPS workers. They believe that the USPS does not have to comply with this rule at all, however, that just is not true. The truth is, OSHA actively called the USPS out, saying that they absolutely had to comply with the rule just like everyone else. At the same time, the CDC, White House staff and all other federal employees and federal contractors under the jurisdiction of the executive branch have to comply with a stricter version of this rule. These federal workers have to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, and unlike regular employees, they do not have the option to get tested weekly. And notice that we said the executive branch, rather than the whole government. That is because the executive branch cannot order the other two branches, the legislative branch and the judicial branch, to do anything. That all comes down to the way that our government is structured. All three branches of our government are equal, so no branch can control the other two.
Finally, people are wondering if their specific working conditions or work environment exempt them from the rule. Truth is, there are a lot of questions going around about what counts as 100 employees and what conditions will subject or exempt you from the rule. For all of that information, you can visit OSHA’s FAQ page.