Chris Henney, OABA

OABA welcomes OSHA vaccine mandate withdraw

By Matt Reese
On Jan. 25, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew its emergency vaccine mandate order for businesses with 100 or more employees that was issued on Nov. 5, 2021.
Chris Henney, president/CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, was pleased to hear the news.
“This was big news for our industry. As you can imagine we have a lot of companies and co-ops that have more than 100 employees across the state serving Ohio’s farmers. We also have a fair number of smaller companies that employ less than 100 employees. There was the potential for larger employers to lose employees to their competitors that are smaller than 100 employees. Essentially the government was picking winners and losers here,” Henney said. “We’re very thankful this rule is not going to move forward at this time. Long term, I think there is still an opportunity for OSHA to look at other pathways to accomplish what they want to accomplish. We’re not anti-vaccine or anti-science, we are anti-government mandate and the complications it was creating. We already have a labor shortage and this just further complicated that. We don’t need anything that is going to make business any more complicated than it already is with supply chain issues, labor shortages, pricing and everything else.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was part of a coalition of 27 attorneys general in seeking an immediate stay of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by OSHA. The decision to withdraw by OSHA follows a decision earlier in January by the United States Supreme Court to uphold Yost’s request for a stay of the vaccine mandate.
“Our case was about the limits of power, not about the vaccine. Today, the President of the United States bowed to the rule of law, even if it was forced upon him,” Yost said. “It will not be the last time.”

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