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2 Wisconsin manufacturers sue over federal COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandates for workers
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2 Wisconsin manufacturers sue over federal COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandates for workers

DARIEN — Two Wisconsin manufacturers are among those suing to block the Biden administration from instituting COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private-sector workers.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Darien-based Tankcraft Corp. and Plasticraft Corp.

President Joe Biden will enforce a federal mandate that workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly starting on Jan. 4, a reprieve to businesses facing labor shortages during the holiday season, U.S. officials said on Thursday. Conway G. Gittens reports.

The lawsuit challenges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees: Workers either must be vaccinated or tested weekly.

Companies that do not comply face penalties of more than $13,000 per violation, or more than $136,000 for a willful violation.

"The order is unconscionable. OSHA does not know how to run our companies. We do," said Steve Fettig, secretary and treasurer of Tankcraft and Plasticraft. "OSHA does not know how to keep our employees safe. We do. And we have done so successfully since the start of the pandemic without the interference of a federal bureaucracy. We respect our employees' fundamental right to make their own private, difficult medical choices."

The two companies say they had to "decide between two impossible choices. If they imposed the mandate, they will lose employees who do not wish to be vaccinated or tested weekly and precious days of productivity due to testing, vaccinations, and vaccine side effects," the lawsuit said.

The conservative law firm filed the suit with the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

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