Owensboro business unhappy with Biden administration’s vaccine mandate deadline

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Kentucky State Sen. Matt Castlen, the owner of Castlen Steel, was in disbelief over President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate deadline.

[READ MORE: US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4]

“You know when I saw the news, it was kind of just disheartening really,” Castlen said. “It’s completely against the American way. And I know all across the nation right now, there’s probably a shock amongst business owners.”

Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules issued Thursday.

Castlen says his company is right at the 100-employee mark, and he thinks the mandate is unfair to his employees.

“I believe in freedom of choice, and my employees are the number one asset we have,” Castlen said “They’re super close friends of mine. I’m not going to ask an employee to do something completely against his will and dangle a job on top of his head. It’s completely wrong.”

Reports say the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations will force the companies to require that unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear a mask while at work.

The deadline is expected to face legal action from some Republican states and businesses.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’s directing the Department of Labor to work with the Attorney General on a lawsuit to challenge the mandate.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

Castlen says he will always put his employees first.

“We’re faced with a really tough decision here today,” Castlen said. “And I just hate it because these families show up here every day and they fight for this company. They work hard, and this time as the owner, I’m going to stand up and fight for them.”

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