On November 18, 2021 OSHA suspended enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.
According to a CBS News report, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will rely heavily on informants to help enforce the federal vaccine mandate. More significantly, the report asserts the federal government will have to rely on snitches because OSHA lacks the personnel to enforce the mandate itself.
According to the report, the U.S. Department of Labor “will need a lot of help” enforcing the vaccine mandate.
“Yet its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t have nearly enough workplace safety inspectors to do the job.”
The 490-page vaccine regulation requires every person employed by businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. According to CBS News, that includes 84 million employees. The mandate also covers all federal workers and contractors. Companies that fail to comply will face fines of nearly $14,000 per “serious” violation.
As the CBS report alludes to, OSHA has a significant personnel problem. This was the case even before the agency was tasked with enforcing the vaccine mandate.
OSHA only employs 774 inspectors. Another 1,200 work for the states but enforce OSHA rules. That small force of inspectors must cover more than 7 million businesses. Currently, it would take them 160 years to inspect every business under its jurisdiction just one time. That’s why the feds will have to rely on snitches to have any hope of enforcing the vaccine mandate.
“There is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers’ doors or even calling them,” a former OSHA chief of staff told CBS News “They’re going to rely on workers and their union representatives to file complaints where the company is totally flouting the law.”
OSHA will also rely on state cooperation to enforce the mandate. It’s a “team effort.”
Here’s the dirty little secret they don’t want you to know—partnerships and “team efforts” don’t work when half the team quits.
If employees refuse to tell on their coworkers and employers, and if states refuse to help enforce the vaccine mandates, the vaccine mandates won’t be enforced.
End of story.
State action can set the stage to nullify the vaccine mandate in practice and effect.
Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” is an extremely effective method to hinder the enforcement of any federal action because most enforcement relies on help, support and leadership from the states. This is true of virtually every federal law, and it will clearly be the case with the vaccine mandates.
But human action is also key. States can ban enforcement help all they want, but if everyone still complies, there’s nothing to enforce.
In order to nullify the mandate, people must reject and resist it first and foremost.
If enough workers refuse to comply, employers will have no choice but to ignore the mandate. After all, without workers, they can’t get the work done. We’ve already seen the impact of employee rebellion with flight delays in the airline industry and firehouses closing in New York City.
And it’s clear that OSHA can’t enforce vaccine mandates without the willing cooperation of workers.
The vaccine mandate can be effectively nullified, but it will require a combination of state and human action.
This article was originally featured at the Tenth Amendment Center and is republished with permission.