DALLAS – FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – At Southwest Office Systems in Fort Worth, no company required their 42 employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Vince Puente who heads the company with his brother Buddy said, “I think that’s what they’ll choose.”
Consequently, the Puente company was not affected by Governor Abbott’s executive order prohibiting vaccination mandates for employees and consumers in any entity.
This includes private companies and organizations.
The Governor previously banned state and local government entities from requiring vaccination mandates.
The Puente firm was also not affected by President Biden’s executive order requiring up to 100 million workers to be vaccinated because of its size.
Although, Puente said he doesn’t like government mandates as a rule. “I can’t just choose the ones that work for me and the ones that resist me. I have to stick to my principles and say how it affects my principles.”
Under the President’s order last month, federal employees, federal contractors, and employees in hospitals and health care facilities that receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid must be vaccinated.
Based on OSHA regulations, the President proposed that companies with more than 100 employees be vaccinated or tested each week for the virus.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council said Tuesday that hospitals in North Texas, facing the same orders, are now being evaluated, but have not changed their vaccination requirements.
According to Dallas -based Southwest Airlines, it is also reviewing Governor Abbott’s executive order.
But in a statement, the airline said, “According to the President’s Executive Order, federal action supersedes any mandate or state law, and we expect to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.”
CBS 11 reached out to American Airlines, but it was never heard of.
SMU’s Professor of Constitutional Law Professor Dale Carpenter said companies facing competing mandates should know what to follow. “If there is that conflict, the President’s order will prevail, if the President’s order is valid.”
Professor Carpenter said the federal government may face legal challenges, but it is on solid legal ground in need of vaccines for its workers and contractors.
Regarding private companies with 100 employees or more, Carpenter said OSHA has been given extensive powers.
“This, the President would argue that vaccination orders or testing requirements are part of making employees safe.”
Governor Abbott wants his state legislators to legislate.
He added his executive order to the agenda at this third special session, which will end next week.
The bills have been filed in the State House and Senate, and a hearing is scheduled on the law this Thursday afternoon in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Regarding Vince Puente, he said that forcing his employees to receive a Covid-19 vaccine would hurt his business. “I have senior managers who will finish the next day. We have team members who will stand the next day and I have others who will be happy that they got the vaccines. It will have a big impact. It will change our business. . “