Mid-South states file lawsuits against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:59 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2021 at 5:03 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-South lawmakers are pushing back after the federal government released a new mandate for more workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Several Mid-South lawmakers have shared that they are against the federal government’s vaccine mandate that requires employees at businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

The federal vaccine rule under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA for short, says if employees are not vaccinated, they have to have weekly COVID-19 testing done and must wear a mask while at work. The rule says employers must also provide paid time off for employees to go get the vaccine.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves called the vaccine mandate “tyranny” and says the state will “fight back.”

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Tennessee and Arkansas have already filed suit against the mandate.

Arkansas Gov, Asa Hutchinson has publicly spoken out against it.

“I oppose these mandates based on the freedom businesses should have to run their workplace. The result of these mandates is to create hardships on people, businesses, and our efforts to get people back to work,” said Hutchinson.

Arkansas joined a lawsuit with 10 other states fighting the mandate. Tennessee’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery said his office will take time to review the mandate and determine the next steps for filing another lawsuit challenging the OSHA rule.

On the business side, companies like FedEx are reviewing the OSHA rule. But they are encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

The federal mandate requires employees to get vaccinated by Jan. 4.

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