Oklahoma businesses weigh on Biden’s tenure; urge workers to get vaccinated

Many local employers large enough to be affected by President Joe Biden’s tenure on vaccines and testing take a similar stance. They are assessing the potential impact these rules would have on their organizations while encouraging employees to get vaccinated of their own accord.

“We are aware of the recent announcement of the planned rule and are assessing its potential impact,” said spokesman Bernardo Fallas of Phillips 66, who currently employs around 2,100 people. “In the meantime, we continue to strongly encourage all employees to obtain We also continue to monitor CDC guidance and developments related to COVID-19 and adjust our protocols and levels of protection accordingly across our sites .

Biden announced on September 9 the mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees, which represents some 80 million workers nationwide. It would be administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor.

Calling Biden’s tenure an act overly federal in scope, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor stands with 23 other PWs threatening legal action if the president does not drop the tenure.

Companies are already promoting employee vaccination

Spokesman Dennis Nuss of ConocoPhillips, which employs around 900 people in Bartlesville, said he expects the directive to apply to them once implemented.

“We are assessing the potential implications,” he said. “As always, we will comply with all applicable laws and regulations. ”

Mike Touhill, spokesperson for ABB, which employs more than 200 people, said the company continues to encourage employees to consider getting vaccinated against COVID according to CDC guidelines and will comply with all regulations federal.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, which employs just over 200 people, is also assessing the potential impact of the mandate.

“In the meantime, we strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated. We are also following CDC guidelines and have protocols in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as mask wear, social distancing, and limits on large gatherings. said Nick Facchin, spokesperson for Chevron Phillips Chemical.

OSHA rules do not apply to school districts

OSHA rules do not apply to school districts, and Superintendent Chuck McCauley of Bartlesville Public Schools, which employs more than 870 staff, said the school did not intend to require that employees are vaccinated or tested.

“If the mandate survives inevitable legal challenges, it could apply to Sodexo, a third-party company that oversees our infant nutrition services and facilities,” he said.

In the town of Bartlesville, which employs 353 people, spokeswoman Kelli Williams said there was not enough information available to determine how the city will handle this situation in the future. However, the city is offering an incentive of $ 250 to all fully immunized employees.

The Cherokee Nation has required testing for new hires and job training program participants since May, in addition to a $ 300 government employee incentive. The tribe says nearly 75% of its 4,300 employees are now vaccinated.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cherokee Nation has relied on science, facts and compassion to make informed decisions best for the Cherokee people and to protect our elders, our language and tribal communities “Said Senior Manager Chuck Hoskin Jr.” Part of our strategy began with making sure that our workplace and our people were the safest in the region, and we are now already ahead of the curve in terms of concerns vaccination rates of tribal government employees and mandatory COVID testing of our commercial employees. ”

Hoskin said they are considering options for more testing and vaccination measures for their workforce and will make those decisions in accordance with their status as sovereign government.

Ascension, a Catholic, nonprofit health care system employing approximately 1,139 people at Jane Phillips Hospital, announced in July that all employees would be required to be vaccinated by November 12. Employees are allowed to request an exemption for medical or religious beliefs.

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