Rod Roberts: ‘No’ to Biden administration vaccine mandate

Staff Report

Rod Roberts, the former Carroll state legislator who serves as Iowa’s labor commissioner, says Iowa will not adhere to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more people working for them. Bottom line: the state standards are strong enough, Roberts said.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments related to the federal OSHA Vaccine Mandate. No decisions have emerged from the high court as of press time.
But as required by federal regulations, Roberts, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010 who served the Carroll area in the Iowa House for a decade, submitted a notice in his current role that Iowa will “not be adopting or enforcing the mandate,” state officials said.  
“As a state plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor is charged with protecting the health and safety of those in the workplace and has the authority to enforce workplace safety and health standards for Iowa businesses,” Roberts said in a news release. “Iowa doesn’t have a standard requiring the COVID-19 vaccine or testing. But after closely reviewing the federal OSHA Vaccine Mandate, Iowa has determined it will not adopt the federal standard. Iowa has concluded that it is not necessary because Iowa’s existing standards are at least as effective as the federal standard change.”  

Gov. Kim Reynolds supported Roberts’ statement.  
“I applaud Commissioner Roberts’ decision,” Reynolds said in a release. “We are going to continue to protect the freedoms and liberties of Iowans. The Biden Administration continues to ignore the constitutional rights afforded to all Americans, which our country was built on. Instead, they’d rather dictate health care decisions and eliminate personal choice, causing our businesses and employees to suffer and exacerbating our workforce shortage.”  

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