Memphis lawyer expects lawsuits over new federal vaccine mandates

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There is fall out in the fight against COVID-19 as sweeping new vaccine mandates impact 100 million Americans.

Thursday, President Biden announced that companies with 100 workers or more had one of two choices: either require workers to get the shot or require weekly testing.

The vaccination or weekly testing requirement will be enacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA. Businesses that don’t comply could receive a $14,000 fine per violation.

Alan Crone, an employment law attorney, calls the bold and “very interesting.” He says he expects lawsuits.

“I think lawyers as we speak are working on lawsuits on behalf of governments, on behalf of employers, employees, labor unions,” Crone said. “But it’s interesting because on one level it elevates testing and masks and social distancing and that sorta thing with vaccination.”

While he expects a lot of litigation, Crone believes the President isn’t concerned, saying he thinks Biden’s team would be pleased if the initial announcement of the plan alone got more people to get the shot. 

“If you look at the details of all this, I don’t really think they expect that it’s going to stick legally,” Crone said. “But I think they’re hoping that this will create awareness, it will create action and people who haven’t been vaccinated will go get vaccinated or better still people who are unvaccinated will stop acting like they are vaccinated.” 

Devante Adkins, a driver for Amazon was aware of President Biden’s new plan when we talked to him Friday afternoon. Adkins, who is not vaccinated, said he understands the President’s push.

“Somebody should be able to decide if they want a needle in them or not,” Adkins said. “I’ll do the tests. I’ll do the testing if I have to.”

His coworker Joshua Johnson agrees.

“Oh yeah I understand it, I understand it, but just my personal opinion, I wouldn’t want to do that,” Johnson said.

 A timeline for when this must happen isn’t clear yet, but the White House did say they will give people time to get vaccinated.

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