Major News This Week
So…here are my thoughts this Sunday morning, as we’re all aware of two major news items on vaccine mandates that emerged this past week.
First, OSHA released rules mandating vaccinations for employers with more than 100 employees. Federal employees and contractors were already acting on separate executive orders and working toward a deadline of the 8th of December. When the OSHA rules came out, the date for all affected employees and employers was shifted to the 4th of January. Because, oh yes, it’s much better to celebrate the holidays knowing that you’ll get fired after Christmas, the New Year, and/or whatever other holidays and family celebrations you might enjoy in December.
Second, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals put a stay on the mandate deadlines, which will likely push any mandate deadlines to a later time as scores of battles will rage in courts across the country.
What Happens Next?
I see two likely scenarios that we all need to consider:
- This only delays the mandates from going into effect. Pursuing actions in federal court is, in effect, asking judges who are employees of the federal government to limit federal power. Historically this is a fools errand and has a high probability of failure. Many workers who choose not to receive COVID vaccinations will certainly need to look at other options for how to make a living. Especially because recent EEOC guidance essentially tells employers how to deny exemption requests. EMPLOYEES SHOULD PREPARE FOR THE WORST.
- This is the beginning of the end. There is evidence that the narrative is unraveling and that lobbyists from major employers are swarming Washington DC with pressure to remove mandates that are bad for business. It’s true that Kansas Democrat Governor Laura Kelly is now coming out against the mandates, though they’ve typically been a (D) vs. (R) issue.
Let’s say that, as Libertarians, we can receive our wish and these statist, unconstitutional mandates are defeated. What happens then?
Quite a few federal and federal contractor employees have already been back-and-forth with their employers and have seen their employers’ lack of concern for their employees on this topic. It has become readily apparent that enforcing the rules to keep federal contracts intact overrides any scruples most corporate leaders might have about violating the bodily integrity of their employees.
Employees Won’t Forget!
If the mandates simply evaporate in the next few days, will the employees forget that these employers wouldn’t stand for their rights, denied vast quantities of religious exemption requests (implying the power to judge the employees’ faith?!), and became full-blown minions of a government in the most outrageous, unconstitutional, illogical, and immoral ultimatum pointed at nearly 100 million American workers? I think some workers will be happy to ignore what just happened and go right back to work for those same employers, but not all of them.
I believe that a large divide has already been created between these employers and employees who are now left with a putrid taste in their mouths. Why would they ever trust that employer again? Why should they ever believe it when their employer says they are all about inclusion and respecting people’s beliefs? Why would they ever take it seriously when their employer pushes for ethics in the business place?
What Will Outraged Employees Do?
Employees with a backbone and a strong sense of ethics will be outraged regardless of the outcome. How long will they stay with these abusive employers? I believe that there will be some major changes in workforce dynamics. Lists of these abusive employers will be well-known and their struggles to obtain and keep good employees will only increase. Establishment Corporate America will struggle. Meanwhile, these employees will be looking for like-minded, moral people and organizations to work with.
Elimination of the Mandates Doesn’t Stop an Upheaval
So, even if the mandates die, there will still be a mass exodus from employers who acted on these mandates. In the employees’ eyes, much like in the Nuremberg trials, the defense of “just following orders” isn’t going to fly.
Here in the Libertarian Party of Warren County we don’t want to see a divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated and we sure don’t want to see a huge upheaval because some people think they have a unique authorization to centrally-plan the universe. We want to work together with all like-minded people to decentralize power, eliminate such mandates, and see liberty in our lifetimes here at home, while setting an example for humanity everywhere.