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‘Attempt to use OSHA as the means to achieve the end’ – Siouxland lawyer weighs in on Biden’s vaccine mandate

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - One Siouxland lawyer said, when it comes to the president's new mandate, under the law, he may or may not have authority to do it.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping new federal vaccine mandate that would force as many as 100 million Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing their jobs.

To accomplish this, the president must go to a federal agency, in this case, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, simply known as OSHA.

Related: Woodbury County Sheriff says he will not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees

OSHA has the authority to police worker safety -- so the president uses the agency to put the mandate in place.

"Attempt to use OSHA as the means to achieve the end. Which is worker safety and vaccination of employees," said Attorney Bruce Smith.

Smith adds employers can be fined for not following the mandate.

"The president has suggested, I believe yesterday he said a $14,000 per violation fine against the employers. But, we don't know the specifics until the rule is proposed by OSHA as to exactly what the penalties will be," said Smith.

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Emily Schrad

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