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An Oklahoma Senate bill could allow employees of government and private entities to sue their employers for up to $1 million over health problems resulting from COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
State Sen. Rob Standridge (R-OK) introduced Senate Bill 1106, the “Citizen Health Mandate Protection Act,” on Friday. The bill would allow employees to sue their employers over medical issues related to any operations made mandatory as a condition of employment. If an employee is harmed by a forced medical operation, the employer could be liable for as much as $1 million.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and effective following the evaluation of data from “tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials.” The CDC also says serious “side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects have been detected.”
The legislation comes after the Biden administration unveiled a sweeping new labor rule earlier this month, tallying roughly 500 pages and mandating all federal employees and contractors be vaccinated against COVID-19. The rule also mandates that employees at companies with at least 100 workers either be vaccinated or submit to regular COVID testing.
“Many Oklahomans may not know that COVID-19 vaccines have already been given liability protection from the federal government,” Standridge said in a statement. “If an employee is required to receive the vaccine or some other medical treatment as a condition of employment and it causes that person harm, our citizens need to know they’ll have some recourse that will provide them with meaningful relief. That’s what my legislation will do.”
Biden’s vaccine order, published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is currently in legal limbo after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed the regulation after receiving a blitz of legal challenges. The court ruled that the challenges “give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.”
The Daily Wire filed its own legal challenge against the Biden administration hours after the rule was published on November 4.
“The Daily Wire will not comply with President Biden’s tyrannical vaccine mandate, and we are suing the Biden Administration to put a stop to their gross overreach,” Daily Wire Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeremy Boreing said at the time. “President Biden, the federal government, social media, and the establishment media have conspired to rob Americans of their freedoms in the name of public health. They have broken faith with the American people through conflicting messaging, false information, and by suppressing data and perspectives with which they disagree.”
Despite the court stay, the White House has continued to push the order and advised companies to begin enforcing their own vaccine mandates or strict testing regiments while the legal process plays out.
“People should not wait,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week. “We say: Do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do, and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.”
Biden has faced resistance from within his own party to the rule. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) came out against the OSHA rule shortly after it was published.
“Yesterday, I reviewed the new vaccine mandate from the Biden Administration,” Kelly said. “While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don’t believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas.”
“States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic,” she continued. “It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs. I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis.”