American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, citing federal requirements, said on Tuesday that they would not comply with a Texas governor's order prohibiting private employers from requiring vaccines against coronavirus in the state.
Gov. Greg Abbott, a staunch opponent of vaccination warrants, issued the order on Monday, saying inoculation against Covid-19 should "always be voluntary for Texans ".
"We believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes all conflicting state laws, and that doesn't change anything for American," said a spokeswoman for the airline, based in Fort Worth. Southwest, who is based in Dallas, said it "will stay compliant.me ”to the federal mandate.
The Greater Houston Partnership, a group of companies that includes Exxon Mobil, Chevron and JPMorgan Chase, as members, is are also pronounced Tuesday against the order of Mr. Abbott, say that it " does not support the ability and duty of Texas businesses to create a safe workplace. ”
President Biden announced last month that federal contractors and their employees should be vaccinated, with a few exceptions . Like other large employers, American and Southwest cited this requirement and their status as contractors when announcing that employees must be vaccinated.
M r. Biden also announced that workers in companies with more than 100 employees should be vaccinated or tested regularly, but those requirements depend on new rules that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has yet to release. This requirement will cover tens of millions of workers, the administration said. Health care workers in facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds should also be immunized.
Jen Psaki, the House press secretary Blanche, accused Mr Abbott on Tuesday of putting "politics ahead of public health" and said federal laws superseded state and local laws.
The administration will continue to pursue extended mandateswhich she announced last month, she said, adding that business leaders who had already introduced mandates had reported positive results.
" Beyond the legal aspect, which in our eyes is indisputable, the question for any business owner is: What do you want to do to save more lives in your companies? Ms Psaki said.
A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said the Biden administration had "left employers with the unfair choice of " 'violate federal regulations or lose their valuable employees "and that the governor's order was" enforceable by national and local law enforcement ".
In Florida, another state with a governor who fought the vaccine and warrants, the Department of Health issued a violation notice to Leon County, which includes Tallahassee, for violating the" vaccine passport "ban in the state.
The department said in a statement Tuesday that it was fining the county nearly $ 3.6 million for asking 700 government workers to provide immunization status and fired 14 who refused to comply. Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wanted to "preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions about which photos to take ".