Breaking News
LAST CHANCE for Cyber Monday SALE: Up to 54% off InvestingPro! Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Texas vaccine mandate ban likely to be trumped by federal law but could cause uncertainty

Stock MarketsOct 13, 2021 06:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott's ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates will likely be superseded by the Biden administration plan to require shots for workers, but the dueling rules could take months to sort out in court, creating uncertainty for employers with business in the state.

The Republican governor signed an executive order on Monday banning private employers and other entities from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which he said threatened an economic recovery by disrupting the workforce.Some large employers are betting that federal law and President Joe Biden's vaccine mandates will trump Abbott's executive order.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) Co and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), both based in Texas, said on Tuesday they would move ahead with plans to meet a Dec. 8 deadline for federal contractors to have their employees vaccinated.

"Companies recognize they have to comply with one or the other but not both, and the Texas order is more likely to be struck down than the federal order," said Steve Cave, a King & Spalding attorney who specializes in government contracts.

The supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from interfering with valid federal laws.

Abbott's order states that "no entity in Texas" can compel proof of vaccination by any individual, including employees or customers. Failure to comply could result in a fine of $1,000, although Abbott did not say how the order would be enforced.

Biden's administration announced on Sept. 9 a plan that will require about 100 million American workers to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Many of the plans have yet to be detailed and do not yet have the force of law.

Biden, a Democrat, issued the mandate as his administration struggled to control the pandemic, which has killed more than 700,000 Americans. Critics of mandates view them as unconstitutional and authoritarian, but proponents see them as necessary to pull the country out of the nearly two-year pandemic and return to normalcy.

Businesses could choose to test Abbott's order by imposing mandates and then, if fined, challenging the fine in court.

Companies would likely argue they were complying with Biden's mandate, and legal precedents support federal law taking precedence over state law when they conflict, experts aid.

"This is going to turn into a fight about who has supremacy over the other and there's a game of chicken between Governor Abbott and the Biden administration," Cave said.

'HAVING TO THREAD THE NEEDLE'

Florida offers an example of how it might play out.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) Holdings Ltd in August won a court battle over a Florida law forbidding it from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination, which the cruise line said it had to do to comply with federal health regulations. The judge called the company's argument "compelling."

Employers could face hurdles, however, in the Texas case.

The biggest part of Biden's vaccination plan relies on emergency workplace safety rules that will soon be issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Once those rules are written, 24 state attorneys general have pledged to fight them.

Some legal experts suggested the OSHA rule could be blocked if challengers can show the government cannot prove there is a national "grave danger" as required by law.

If OSHA's rule is tied up in court or determined to be invalid, it could make it harder to claim federal law should pre-empt Abbott's order.

Given the uncertainty, businesses could try to comply with both orders.

Kevin Troutman, an attorney in the Houston office of Fisher Phillips, which represents employers, said businesses could allow employees to opt out of vaccines if they submit to weekly testing, which the Biden administration has said could be an alternative to vaccination.

"It could make the option of testing something more employers want to consider and implement more widely," he said. "It requires more planning and attention and it creates more headaches."

Brian Dean Abramson, a specialist and author on vaccine law, questioned if Texas would actually enforce the mandate ban by going after employers. But he said the threat was probably enough for most businesses to take action.

"The employer will be in a position of having to thread the needle of establishing a vaccine policy that doesn’t run afoul of what Abbott requires and run afoul of what the Biden administration is requiring," he said. "But ultimately federal law will be supreme."

Texas vaccine mandate ban likely to be trumped by federal law but could cause uncertainty
 

Related Articles

Wall Street rebounds after virus-related sell-off
Wall Street rebounds after virus-related sell-off By Reuters - Nov 29, 2021 19

By Sinéad Carew and Kevin Buckland (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday, regaining some of the ground lost in Friday's sell-off, as investors appeared hopeful...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Mitchski Love
Mitchski Love Oct 14, 2021 3:12AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Executive orders are not laws
Shama Benjamin
Shama Benjamin Oct 13, 2021 9:17AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I agree with the Governor let the battle begin.They are liars on the true purpose and it's effectiveness. The media never reports the truth on the people dying from the Vaccine and disabled.They think people are stupid. A relative of mine caught Covid even after getting the jab.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email