Business

Sullivan Applauds Alaska Railroad, Urges Other Businesses to Retain Employees Pending

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10.29.21

Sullivan also demands clarification from White House on December 8th compliance deadline

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), in an interview today with Stu Varney on Fox Business Network, urged employers across the country not to fire their employees who are out of compliance with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which Sullivan contends are unconstitutional. Sen. Sullivan applauded the Alaska Railroad Corporation for rescinding its initial vaccine mandate pending the outcome of legal challenges to President Biden’s order. 

“We all want to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, and I’ve encouraged everyone to get vaccinated, in consultation with their doctor. But the President of the United States does not have the constitutional or statutory authority to mandate vaccinations,” said Sen. Sullivan. “In 2020, a key principle that congressional Democrats and Republicans and the Trump administration committed to was ensuring businesses that receive pandemic relief retain their workers. Joe Biden is now taking a sledgehammer to that connection, telling American businesses to fire employees who do not comply. Forcing employers to fire thousands of Americans right before the holidays is wrong and unthinkable. I’m glad to see a movement of employers, like the Alaska Railroad Corporation, standing up and rejecting these mandates, and I’ll continue to encourage others to stand by their hard-working employees.”

Senators Sullivan and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) sent a letter last night to White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients demanding that the White House clarify its COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy after Zients, on Wednesday, indicated federal agencies and contractors will not be required to immediately fire employees who are unvaccinated by the December 8thdeadline.

In their letter to Coordinator Zients, Sens. Sullivan and Braun wrote: 

“We write to request immediate clarification regarding your recent comments on Executive Order 14042, which requires employees of federal contractors and subcontractors to be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021.1 While we believe the Executive Branch does not have the constitutional authority to take these invasive actions and the President’s mandates will threaten the livelihoods, earned benefits, and financial health of untold numbers of hardworking Americans and their families, we are seeking clarification regarding potential flexibility on the December 8, 2021 deadline and if unvaccinated employees will be terminated.

[…]

“Without concrete flexibility, employers will be forced to fire hardworking Americans who choose not to get vaccinated. This not only undermines the significant work Congress and the Trump Administration did to save millions of jobs, it also exacerbates the workforce shortages employers are already facing. While you stated at the White House press conference “we do not expect any disruptions”, we are already facing significant nation-wide disruptions to the workforce. For example, ports are weeks behind in their processing and there is a shortage of truck drivers to deliver goods. The Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, a federal advisory committee, already recommended to the Biden Administration that they should allow military, veterans, and National Guardsmen to voluntarily take paid truck driving jobs to clear overwhelmed and backed-up ports.

[…]

“We urge you to publish clarifying guidance on employer flexibility before November 1, 2021 so that employers are able to develop a process to protect their hard-working employees.”

Click here to read the full letter.

On Monday, October 18, Sen. Sullivan spoke on the Senate floor, criticizing the vaccine mandates and imploring employers to not fire their workers until inevitable litigation is heard. 

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