Job Creators Network CEO: Small businesses can't 'fathom' being 'vaccine police'

"This is a gross overreach from the federal government and unconstitutional," Alfredo Ortiz said.
Help wanted sign outside Los Angeles restaurant. May 28, 2021.
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of Job Creators Network, which filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses, criticized the president for trying to make small businesses "the vaccine police."

The Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees requires everyone who meets that criteria to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or get tested weekly and wear a mask, lest the companies face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.

In an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast Monday, Ortiz said that between the COVID-19 restrictions in localities around the nation, the labor shortage, inflation, and wage increases, small businesses can't "even fathom that they were gonna have to now be basically the vaccine police across the country."

He added that large corporations "seem to have no problem" with the vaccine mandate because when they lose a couple hundred employees out of 50,000, "I guess it's not a big deal."

"But when you have a small business, for example, that is 120 to 130 people … that's a big deal when you lose about 25 or 30%," which Ortiz said is about the estimate across the board.

He explained that with the current unemployment rate, it's easy for employees to leave companies that enforce the vaccine mandate for those with under 100 employees that aren't enforcing it.

Ortiz said that his organization also takes "great exception with the way the President and the administration actually try to sell this American public as a mandate that specifically targets our largest employers in this country."

He elaborated, saying that when talking large employers, he usually thinks of corporations like Citibank, Coca Cola, and Delta, not businesses with a little over a hundred employees.

The definition of a small business according to the Small Business Administration, Ortiz said, is 500 employees or less.

"So this is really gonna impact a big, big swath of our small businesses, and I think they should at least be honest with the American public," he said.

The Associated Press reported Biden's vaccine mandate as affecting "medium and large businesses," and that the  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) "left open the possibility of expanding the requirement to smaller businesses."

"[T]his is a gross overreach from the federal government and unconstitutional," Ortiz said. He cited the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to implement a temporary stay on the vaccine mandate, which says that potentially "grave statutory and constitutional issues" were raised by the plaintiffs.

The Job Creators Network president noted that his organization also filed a motion with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, where they filed their lawsuit, to have the Fifth Circuit's temporary stay apply to the entire country.