Is Biden’s recent requirement legal?

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Joe Biden

President Joe Biden arrives to speak in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After president Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will now be mandating all businesses with 100 or more employees to require workers to either get the vaccine or take a weekly COVID-19 test.

President Biden’s announcement has caused controversy. But, is it legal?

“The authority to issue emergency standards. So what that means is that Congress has given OSHA the authority when there is an emergency to create a temporary standard.” 1:24 2:19 “So in that regard, it’s absolutely legal to do so.” said Michael McDaniel, a legal expert at Cooley Law School.

Michael Mcdaniel is a professor at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School. He says one important aspect about the mandate is that employees still have a choice they have options.

“You can either A not come to work which most people don’t see as a choice and I agree, or B get weekly testing or C get the vaccine and assure that you are safe for yourself, your family and your coworkers.”

McDaniel referenced the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case- Jacobson vs. Massachusetts- where the judge said, “Your liberty… does not override the liberty of your neighbors to be free from illness when he refused to get a smallpox vaccine.” 

And what kind of chance do you have if you decide to sue your employer for enforcing this mandate?

“Slim to none.  Michigan is an at-will state can say you are an at-will employee and this now a condition of employment. Your employer can make certain requirements of you.” said McDaniel.

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