Louisiana’s high enterprise group expresses concern over Biden’s employer vaccine mandate

The Louisiana Affiliation of Enterprise and Business is elevating considerations over President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers and personal sector companies, a coverage that might have an effect on as many as 100 million Individuals.

The group is Louisiana’s largest enterprise group, representing greater than 2,000 employers. It additionally serves because the state chapter for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Nationwide Affiliation of Producers.

After Biden’s announcement requiring necessary vaccinations at companies with 100 or extra workers, LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack expressed authorized and financial unease.

“I’ve been vaccinated and LABI encourages everybody to seek the advice of their physician about doing so in the event that they have not already. Enhancing vaccination charges is crucial to our group’s well being and economic system,” Waguespack mentioned. “Having mentioned that, President Biden’s proposal to require American corporations to mandate vaccinations is clearly not the position of the federal authorities, and OSHA has no constitutional authority, capability or standing to implement such an motion.”

The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate plan can be enacted by a regulatory rule from the U.S. Occupational Security and Well being Administration. The company is a part of the U.S. Division of Labor and recurrently inspects non-public workplaces.

The plan additionally consists of weekly testing regimens for workers with spiritual, medical and different legally acknowledged exemptions. Every violation carries a possible $14,000 penalty, the administration mentioned.

Waguespack cited quite a few issues, equivalent to corporations offshoring operations to retain expert workers, the potential for predatory litigation, misplaced jobs and labor shortages, in addition to the dangers and prices related to exorbitant fines.

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“As an alternative of taking focused actions to leap begin our stagnant economic system, the Administration and Congressional management proceed to suggest new taxes, unprecedented spending and mandates that may drive up prices and stifle financial progress,” Waguespack mentioned. “We implore the President to rethink this motion and return to a extra productive and constitutional effort to enhance vaccination charges by training and entry.”

Biden mentioned Thursday unvaccinated Individuals “may cause a variety of harm, and they’re.”

“We’ve been affected person. However our persistence is sporting skinny, and your refusal has price all of us,” he mentioned. “This isn’t about freedom or private alternative. It’s about defending your self and people round you, the individuals you’re employed with the individuals you care about, the individuals you’re keen on.”

Louisiana has ranked among the many lowest-vaccinated states. Gov. John Bel Edwards mentioned about 43% of vaccine eligible Louisianans are totally vaccinated.

Edwards, a Democrat, has but to touch upon the massive employer vaccine mandate. His public statements and social media stay targeted on Hurricane Ida restoration and COVID-19 health-related actions. A request for remark was not returned.

Louisiana’s two Republican U.S. senators, Invoice Cassidy and John Kennedy, additionally remained silent, as has U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, a Democrat representing New Orleans.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has not commented, although she has applied among the most stringent coronavirus well being measures within the nation, such because the so-called vaccine passport system to enter eating places, bars, gyms, pool halls, arcades and lots of different non-public companies.

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Louisiana’s GOP-dominated congressional delegation, nonetheless, has levied harsh criticisms in opposition to the president.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the second-highest rating Home Republican, mentioned the Biden employer mandate was “about authorities management.” He additionally cited Biden’s assertion July 25, which mentioned vaccine mandates are “not the position of presidency.”

“This isn’t about science,” Scalise mentioned.

Louisiana Republican Home representatives Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson adopted swimsuit. Higgins mentioned the president “has zero authority to mandate vaccine compliance.” Johnson known as the transfer a “brazen overreach.”

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