Phoenix-- Commissioners Justin Olson and Jim O’Connor call on their fellow Commissioners to defend the rights of utility employees from federal government overreach. “The Biden administration has unconstitutionally sought forced vaccinations and has intimidated companies into complying with this inappropriate policy,” said Commissioner Olson. “Workers should not have to choose between losing their jobs or being forced to receive a vaccine against their will.”
Commissioner O’Connor asks his fellow Commissioners to join him in “voting for freedom of choice for our fellow Arizona citizens.”
The Commission has the constitutional authority under Article 15, Section 3 of the Arizona Constitution to make and enforce rules, regulations, and orders for the convenience, comfort, safety and health of the employees of the utilities they regulate.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a stay on the OSHA COVID-19 vaccine mandate reasoning that the mandate “raises serious constitutional concerns” and “grossly exceeds [its] statutory authority.” The Court found that the public interest is served by protecting the liberty of individuals to make intensely personal decisions according to their own convictions.
Commissioners Olson and O’Connor filed a letter to the Docket calling on their fellow Commissioners to defend the rights of utility employees by adopting a policy and rules that would prohibit utilities they regulate from compelling their employees to be vaccinated to keep their jobs. They have requested the matter be placed on the December open meeting for discussion and possible vote.