NFIB Small Business Legal Center Explains Implications of Latest Federal Emergency Standard

Date: November 19, 2021

NFIB Small Business Legal Center Files to Defend Iowa Businesses from Federal Mandates

Recently, Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, appeared on WHO’s Simon Conway Show to explain NFIB’s challenge against the Biden Administration’s emergency temporary standard, which would mandate businesses with 100 or more employees require workers take the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing and wear masks while at work. NFIB filed a petition for review at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit arguing the Court should stay OSHA’s “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard.”


“The only way to describe this for our small business owners is as a rollercoaster ride. When small business was first told that they had to restrict their operations – it’s been a non-stop ride since then. The anxiety about PPP loans, whether or not to re-open or not, ad having to deal with restrictions and guidelines… it’s been a lot of stress on small business owners across the state,” Harned told Simon Conway. 


In the challenge, NFIB argues that OSHA needed to use the typical notice-and-comment procedure for the mandate to gather public input, rather than depending on a rarely used, and ill-defined “emergency” provision of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to immediately implement the mandate. NFIB also argues that a nationwide COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate, monitoring, and database is fundamentally a policy decision that should be left to Congress. Lastly, NFIB argues the mandate will result in unrecoverable compliance costs, lost profits, lost sales, and further exacerbate the labor shortage for small businesses.


NFIB filed the challenge with the following business associations: Mississippi Trucking Association, Texas Trucking Association, Louisiana Motor Transport Association, American Trucking Associations, National Association of Wholesale-Distributors, FMI – The Food Industry Association, International Warehouse & Logistics Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, International Foodservices Distributors Association, and National Retail Federation.


NFIB has opposed the rule and previously sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh regarding small business concerns.


The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Related Content: Small Business News | Iowa

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