COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined 27 other attorneys general in a letter asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large employers.
The letter follows a 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, which temporarily halted the Biden Administration’s OSHA vaccine mandate in response to a legal challenge brought by Attorney General Wilson and other state attorneys general in addition to trade groups, nonprofits, and private businesses.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, OSHA has not withdrawn the emergency temporary standard, which would require vaccination for tens of millions of employees across the country.
“This is just a formality to get this regulation off the books now that the Supreme Court has ruled,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We just want to make sure private employers of 100 or more people understand they don’t have to require their workers to be vaccinated.”
In the letter, the coalition argues the current OSHA mandate is unlawful because the agency does not have the authority to issue a broad vaccine mandate for larger employers.
The letter says that, “[T]he [Occupational Safety and Health] Act was designed to address dangers employees face at work because of their work—not dangers that are no more prevalent at work than in society generally. The United States Supreme Court agrees and held that the ETS—or any similar permanent standard for that matter—fails to address a unique workplace hazard and is therefore unlawful.”
The letter was sent to OSHA as part of the federal government’s formal regulatory comment process. The letter was led by Kentucky and co-signed by attorneys general from South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.