Job Creators Network Meets with OIRA Over Proposed Biden Vaccine Mandate

Press ReleaseOctober 19, 2021

Washington, DC (October 19, 2021) — Today, Alfredo OrtizPresident and CEO of Job Creators Network (JCN) participated in a meeting with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) over the Biden’s Administration’s proposed vaccine mandate.  On September 16, JCN announced its intent to sue the Administration once the mandate is officially unveiled.

Alfredo Ortiz, JCN President and CEO, released the following statement: 

“JCN has heard from our small business members, including a trucking company in Minnesota and a paving company in Illinois, about how this vaccine mandate would significantly harm them if finalized. They’ve explained how it would exacerbate what’s already the worst labor shortage in recorded history by requiring them to terminate some employees who wish not to get vaccinated while also shrinking the pool of job applicants available for hiring. Associated staffing shortages would force them to reduce capacity and economic output, causing financial harm to their businesses, employees, and communities.

“This vaccine mandate presents a clear and present danger to our small business community.  Small businesses were disproportionately hurt during the pandemic when compared to large companies.  In JCN’s monthly poll of small businesses only about 10 percent of small businesses have fully recovered from the pandemic.  That means 90 percent of small businesses are still struggling.

“JCN intends to sue OSHA to block the implementation of this detrimental mandate should it be finalized. We hope that engagement with the small business community, including today’s call, can inform the Biden administration of the significant associated consequences of this rule and convince it not to move forward with finalization.”

To learn more about JCN’s upcoming lawsuit, click here.

JCN is running a Times Square billboard calling on President Biden to drop the vaccine mandate. View it HERE

On October 13, the Job Creators Network Foundation released its September Monthly Monitor poll of 500 small business owners. The poll’s Small Business Intelligence Quotient (SBIQ), an index tracking overall small business optimism, declined for the second month in a row to 56.3—a record series low. View more polling details and crosstabs here.

In September, FoxBusiness.com ran Mr. Ortiz’s op-ed, Biden’s vaccine mandate for America’s businesses is outrageous big government overreach. To read it, click here.

Mr. Ortiz’s prepared remarks for today’s OIRA meeting are below.

Good morning. My name is Alfredo Ortiz, and I’m the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, the nation’s leading conservative small business organization. Thank you for taking the time to discuss the grave concerns that small businesses have about OSHA’s proposed vaccine mandate on employers.  

Let me be clear, our objection to this mandate is in no way an anti-vaccine position. This mandate will impact employers with 100 employees or more. The Small Business Administration generally defines a small business as a company with fewer than 500 employees. Our concerns are focused on how the mandate will impact this population. 

JCN has heard from our small business members, including a trucking company in Minnesota and a paving company in Illinois, about how this vaccine mandate would significantly harm them if finalized. They’ve explained how it would exacerbate what’s already the worst labor shortage in recorded history by requiring them to terminate some employees who wish not to get vaccinated while also shrinking the pool of job applicants available for hiring. Associated staffing shortages would force them to reduce capacity and economic output, causing financial harm to their businesses, employees, and communities.

The mandate also adds a new expense for businesses in the form of the costs associated with employee vaccination status tracking and required paid time off for employee vaccination. Employers who don’t comply will face significant financial penalties. Many small businesses are already operating on slim profit margins in the current economy. These new costs will further strain profitability, reducing some employers’ ability to maintain competitiveness and employee wage increases.

Even by Covid-19-era standards, OSHA’s proposed employer mandate represents a gross overreach of federal power under the Constitution. OSHA does not have the authority to impose this mandate. Even if it did, there is neither the grave danger nor necessity to issue such a sweeping regulation. Covid-19 cases and deaths have fallen dramatically since the Delta wave crested. New therapeutics have been approved that reduce the severity of the disease if contracted. And voluntary vaccinations continue to increase, putting the nation closer to herd immunity.

For these reasons, on behalf of the nation’s small business community, JCN intends to sue OSHA to block the implementation of this detrimental mandate should it be finalized. We hope that engagement with the small business community, including today’s call, can inform the Biden administration of the significant associated consequences of this rule and convince it not to move forward with finalization. Thank you for engaging with us on these concerns today.