ALLENTOWN, Pa. - President Joe Biden's latest announcement about coronavirus vaccination mandates has a lot of Americans - and certainly some people here at home in the Lehigh Valley - asking just how that can be done.
The government's new rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly.
"He issued a number of different orders," begins attorney Ed Easterly.
Easterly, a labor attorney with Hoffman Hlavac & Easterly, practicing out of Allentown, says the president's push to get employers to vaccinate their employees is within the legal limits of the law.
"An employer 100% can ask employees about their vaccination status, 100% can mandate a vaccination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the entity that governs employers and they have come out repeatedly and said that that is permissible by law," he explains.
But - there's a big but here.
Easterly says, you can't forget about some laws that are already on the books.
"There are other laws that are at play here, specifically Title 7 which deals with religious exemptions and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies for the medical exemption. So, I don't believe he can override those federal laws with an executive order, mandating everybody with those exemptions to get the vaccinations."
So, in a nutshell, there are a lot of questions that still have to be answered about this, and Easterly says, you can bet a lot of legal paperwork coming the court's way.
"I think with the world we live in, it's more likely than not that there's gonna be some sort of litigation that arises out of whatever order he implements," Easterly says.
In other words, this announcement is only the beginning of what's sure to be a hefty amount of work ahead for the legal system.