COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and six other attorneys general sued President Joe Biden's administration, saying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to force millions of Americans working for private businesses to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a release, Yost said the states asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit on Friday to stop the implementation of the vaccine mandate while the case is litigated.
The mandate took effect Thursday, which will require Americans who work for companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or get tested weekly for COVID-19.
“A nationwide vaccine mandate that has nothing to do with workplace risk is a dangerous and unlawful use of executive power,” Yost said. “Congress has not given the president the power to make personal health-care decisions for all Americans who just so happen to work at a company with at least 100 employees.”
This is the second lawsuit Yost has filed against the Biden administration in relation to the vaccine mandate. Yost is directly challenging Biden's authority to issue the mandate whereas the second lawsuit is challenging OSHA.
The attorneys argue that the power to issue emergency temporary standards was delegated to OSHA by Congress for the purpose of protecting employees from dangers posed by exposure to substances or harmful toxins encountered at work. That authority does not extend to risks that are just as likely to happen at home or a grocery store, according to the attorneys.
The coalition writes in the lawsuit that last year, “OSHA refused to issue a nationwide emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 because ‘COVID-19 is a community-wide hazard that is not unique to the workplace.’”
Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia are also part of the lawsuit.