Tennessee AG files lawsuit challenging OSHA's vaccine, testing mandate for large companies

Herbert Slatery
Posted at 10:55 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 12:14:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery has filed a lawsuit to challenge the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for employees in the private sector.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Thursday that tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly.

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office said Friday that it had joined seven other states seeking to challenge the mandate. The attorneys general question the “legality of a vaccine mandate,” and want the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to halt the mandate until the court can rule on it.

“As we anticipated, the mandate asserts an unprecedented expansion of emergency regulatory powers by a federal agency,” said General Slatery. “Its scope and breadth is only exceeded by its length (about 500 pages). It also fails to consider the many steps already taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by individuals, employers and our state.”

The new requirements were first previewed by President Joe Biden in September as part of a six-pronged plan to combat COVID-19 in the fall and winter months. OSHA said Thursday that companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

Attorneys general from Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia were also part of the suit. Read a copy of the filing here.

Also on Thursday, the Tennessee AG filed a lawsuit to challenge a federal COVID vaccine mandate for contractors, calling it “unlawful and unconstitutional.”

*The Scripps National Desk contributed to this report.