Postal Service Pleads for Exemption

Postal Service Pleads for Exemption

(AbsoluteNews.com) – In September, President Joe Biden ordered all federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who can’t get the jab are required to submit to weekly testing. The administration has been sued repeatedly for putting the mandates in place.

As the country grapples with a massive worker shortage, there’s a concern the vaccine mandates are going to make the problem worse. The US Postal Service (USPS) is among the federal agencies concerned about disruptions to its services.

USPS Asks for Exemption

On January 4, Deputy Postmaster General Douglas Tulino sent a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asking for an exemption for USPS workers. The letter reportedly said the mandate will likely result in the loss of many postal employees. A spokesperson for USPS, Darlene Casey, told the Washington Post the mail service is going to continue enforcing other safety measures, including sanitation practices, requiring masks and isolating workers who are symptomatic or positive for the virus.

Casey explained USPS needs the waiver to ensure it can continue delivering mail to the American people and that’s not going to be possible if the agency is faced with workers quitting or being disciplined. As of now, the deadline for vaccines is January 10. The Biden administration said it doesn’t plan to issue citations until February 9.

Tulino’s letter asked OSHA to extend the deadline by 120 days and to waive the Postal Service’s mandate until the Supreme Court decides if the order is constitutional. The high court heard arguments about vaccine and testing mandates on January 7.

Already Experiencing Problems

The USPS has had a number of significant issues over the last decade or so. It’s had a difficult time competing with other delivery services is also deeply in debt, owing more than $160 billion at the end of 2019. Over $119 billion of the debt has been from retirement benefits alone. The agency has gone through a lot of restructuring in recent years, but problems persist.

Additionally, the mandate deadlines come at a time when the Postal Service is already grappling with significant delays due to the holiday season and pandemic. Forcing the agency to fire people who refuse to undergo a medical procedure they don’t want is just going to make the problems worse.

Do you think OSHA should grant the USPS a waiver or should the Biden administration do away with the mandate entirely?

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