L & I Responds to WA Vaccine Mandate Rule Change Accusations
Over the weekend, news reports filtered out that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries had met in "secret" to create a new set of regulations.
According to published reports, these new rules would allow Gov. Inslee to potentially extend his vaccine mandate to private businesses. Previously, we've only seen public workers such as WSP, medical, firefighters etc.
Several GOP House Reps and Senator Mark Schoessler said these were so vague they could be applied to virtually any circumstances.
WHAT DO L & I OFFICIALS SAY?
We reached out to Labor and Industries and spoke with Official Tim Church who is the Assistant Director of Web and Communication Services.
He said news reports about the 'secret' meeting were being "misinterpreted." According to Church, every action taken rules or regulation-wise by Labor and Industries is posted on their website, and sent out via email to people who choose to receive their updates. He said some 30K persons receive the emails.
According to Church, because Washington state does not utilize Federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) services for the most part, L & I serves as the 'enforcer' of such workplace safety and other standards.
WA state uses L & I through what's called an OSHA approved state plan.
His follow-up email to Newstalk870 included this line:
"I was able to confirm that 1.) The rules filed on Oct. 18 were not related to any type of overarching vaccine mandate."
He also said claims made by investigative reporters, including noted reporter Ari Hoffman, were false. He said Labor and Industries rules do not contain any extensions of Inslee's emergency or executive order powers.
So, if Labor and Industries is the 'enforcement' arm for OSHA, and there is a Biden Vaccine Mandate, and L & I officials met last week, does that mean a mandate is coming? Were these rules to pave the way for it to happen with private business?
With Governor Inslee holding a press conference Thursday, Oct. 28th we will see what happens with the private sector vaccine mandate.
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