Shutterstock image 1658927440 By Deliris masks in office coronavirus covid19

Federal, state laws on vaccines conflict

The groundbreaking and rapid research that led to the three COVID-19 vaccines—developed by private companies joined by both the Trump and Biden administrations—have brought great success in vastly reducing symptomatic illness and deaths in those who actually take their shots. 

But the extreme distortions and politicizing that has surrounded the vaccines, and the vaccine mandates put forth by the federal and many state governments and private industries has left the country at less than 70% fully vaccinated, and a lot of coronavirus still circulating, causing continued hospitalization and mortality and a downward pull on the economy. 

It has also led to a growing strain on private companies—many of whom are contractors with the federal government—who now or will soon fall under federal law that demands their employees be fully vaccinated in most cases but also state law that opposes that federal law. 

A new piece, published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a group expert in personnel problems both in the government and private sector, discusses the legal ins and outs of the perilous situation—aimed at informing not just attorneys but managers and affected employees. 

The document outlines not only the federal mandate and its legal place, but also Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations, and those issued by their state partners as well as other related matters. 

The article notes that though the federal government mandate calls for all feds to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 and contractors by Dec. 8, even this order leaves room certain medical or other exceptions, of course. More complex and at direct odds with the White House order are state laws and directives—in particular, so far, shaping up in Texas, Arkansas, Montana and others—that serve to directly oppose the federal push. 

The piece provides quotes and advice from multiple attorneys and experts on the matter—concluding that in many instances federal law and workplace regulations will supersede those of the less vaccine-friendly states.

2021 Digital Almanac

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