Joe Biden has apparently decided that among the options to get things done in the short time he has before the midterms, ignoring federal judges is a viable one. He’s instructed businesses to ignore the stay handed down from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who Saturday halted the requirement that workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4th. That order will ostensibly be overseen by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
While ignoring a federal court’s decision is egregious enough, let’s focus on the second part, where OSHA will ultimately be in charge of enforcing the vaccine mandate. Turns out, the Biden administration will be relying heavily on Americans to enforce it — by turning each other in. Or, as the hilarious Jon Gabriel of Ricochet put it on Twitter:
OSHA, it seems, is aware they’re not capable of the manpower needed to police all businesses over 100 employees who will be affected by the mandate (and, let’s face it, they may not have the appetite for it but that’s just my opinion) so they will be relying on the age old tactic of using employees to turn in their employers for violating the edicts of the The Man. A disgruntled tale as old as time.
[T]he government will rely upon a corps of informers to identify violations of the order: Employees who will presumably be concerned enough to turn in their own employers if their co-workers go unvaccinated or fail to undergo weekly tests to show they’re virus-free.
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What’s not known is just how many employees will be willing to accept some risk to themselves — or their job security — for blowing the whistle on their own employers. Without them, though, experts say the government would find it harder to achieve its goal of requiring tens of millions of workers at companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or be tested weekly and wear a mask on the job.
“There is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers door or even calling them,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA chief of staff who is a fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. “They’re going to rely on workers and their union representatives to file complaints where the company is totally flouting the law.”
Jim Frederick, the acting chief of OSHA, told reporters that this agency will focus on job sites “where workers need assistance to have a safe and healthy workplace.”
“That typically comes through in the form of a complaint,” Frederick added.
It’s a pretty shabby move — positively Dickensian; just in time for Christmas — to make already suffering people rat each other out to increase their comfort, even just a little bit. But really, what choice does old Grandpa Joe have? His wins aren’t really piling up the way the progressives he’s shilling for had hoped, and the vaccine mandate is about as popular as working on Christmas Day (to borrow again from Dickens).
It’s so unpopular, in fact, that the backlash to the announcement he was actually going to try and go through with the cursed thing was swift and as popular as the mandate was unpopular.
[W]hether companies will in fact be required to take any action at all remains an open question, given the barrage of lawsuits facing the administration. More than two dozen states, businesses, business groups and religious organizations have sued, calling the rule issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration an overreach of government authority.
Among the arguments put forth by states and businesses: OSHA does not have the legal authority to issue a rule to address a society-wide health concern, and even if reducing the risk of COVID-19 “remains a compelling interest,” it is not necessarily a “grave danger” as OSHA has declared it to be. The plaintiffs also question the timing of the rule, coming more than a year-and-a-half into the pandemic, when many employers have already implemented safety measures and Covid cases are falling.
Almost all of the states suing the Biden administration are led by Republicans, but Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, joined in the criticism. She posted a statement Friday that said while she appreciated the intention to keep workers safe, it was too late to impose a federal standard.
Looks like Scrooge is going to need his army of Karens if he wants to ruin the holidays. It’s up to Americans to decide if they want to enlist.