CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was among a coalition of attorneys general that have petitioned a U.S. appellate court advocating for the rejection of new COVID-19 vaccine guidance from the federal government.
The group filed the petition with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to review a new emergency temporary standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The standard, issued Thursday, applies to large employers, defined as having 100 or more employees.
“Under this standard, covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work,” a press release from OSHA states.
In addition to reviewing the standard, the attorneys general have asked the court to stay the immediate effect of the mandate.
The group argues that OSHA lacks statutory and constitutional authority to issue such a standard.
They argue the agency’s authority to issue such standards was granted by Congress for the express purpose of protecting employees from grave dangers posed by exposure to substances or physically harmful toxins encountered at work, and that authority does not extend to risks that are equally prevalent at work and in society at large.
West Virginia joined the lawsuit alongside attorneys general from Kentucky, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.