Labor Day in a Post-COVID World

Op-Ed by Krishna Chandrasekaran

In 2020, I wrote my first essay discussing the truth and essential concepts about Labor Day that must be fully appreciated and understood. While the concepts are still true and relevant, as they shall always be, there are additional dynamics in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that will be the focus of this essay.

First of all, the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest, if not the very biggest, deceptions and scams imposed on nearly all of humanity, as both the majority of politicians and the most well-funded mainstream media outlets perpetrated the deception. The purpose of the deception was to trick the citizenry, of nearly every single country in the world, to allow their governments to become totalitarian and to also allow their rights and liberties to become completely violated, all in the phony name of promoting and protecting public health from the COVID-19 virus. As explained by Lew Rockwell here, Human Rights Watch has put together a comprehensive list of human rights violations since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown and other associated policies that ramped up since March 2020. Among the most significant manifestation of that massive power grab was to coerce the citizenry into getting injected with a dangerous and never fully tested mRNA experimental gene therapy shot, dishonestly promoted by the mainstream media and the majority of politicians as a vaccine, the COVID vaccine.

Unlike nearly every other country in the world, the United States (U.S.) federal government cannot legally force U.S. citizens to take the COVID vaccine, and so the industries themselves did the bidding of the federal government: in numerous cases, purposefully colluding with the federal government to put people under immense duress to take the COVID vaccine. Many of those industries were the companies employing people, labor, which had tried very hard to mandate their employees to take the COVID vaccine, using the threat of layoffs for refusing the jab. The COVID vaccine mandate, which wasn’t yet declared when I wrote my first essay on Labor Day, will be the central focus of the rest of this essay.

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While private companies and employers can set whatever policy they wish, they are not allowed to violate the law or violate anybody else’s rights, including those of the workers. Furthermore, the COVID vaccine mandate, which isn’t law, as it was only mandated, and illegally so, by Joe Biden, who stole the 2020 election, is not something any employer was ever legally obligated to follow, though sadly many had, at least in the initial days since Biden first declared that mandate towards the end of August 2021.

As such, there are federal laws on the books, like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by which employers must abide. For example, an employer cannot legally lay off or refuse to hire a prospective employee on the basis of his/her race or gender. Similarly, by Title 7 of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, employees are entitled to claim accommodations and exemptions for policies that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs, such as the COVID vaccination requirements, COVID testing mandates (which are a scam), and mandatory mask wearing; just like an employer cannot force a male Sikh employee to violate his sincere religious beliefs by making him remove his turban in the workplace, an employer cannot violate the religious beliefs of employees whose beliefs don’t allow them to wear masks.

Title 4 of the U.S. Civil Rights Act entitles university and college students to claim similar accommodations based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. As per the guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC), the federal agency that sets and enforces the guidelines in cases involving the U.S Civil Rights Act, an individual employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs only need to be his/her own; there is no need for those religious beliefs to be a part of any organized group, like a church, or approved by an ordained person, such as a pastor.

Generally, the only time a religious accommodation request can rightfully or legally be denied is when the request is unreasonable and/or imposes an undue burden, which the EEOC defines as a financial burden, on the employer. It is the employer’s obligation to prove that the burden posed by the accommodation request is truly financial, and therefore, undue. For example, an employee who uses his/her religious beliefs to request that he/she have his/her own executive office suite can rightfully have his/her request denied, as it is financially expensive, and therefore an undue burden, for the employer to accommodate such a request by building out and/or providing that employee his/her own executive office suite. In addition to religious accommodation requests, the law, at the time of this writing, requires employers to respect valid medical exemption requests submitted by employees.

While some employers obeyed the laws and honored the religious and/or medical accommodation requests which came with no provable undue burden, some did not; among those that didn’t, the EEOC and other federal authorities and agencies went after some of them, while the other employers unjustly got away with violating the law scot-free. Furthermore, some employers, including the U.S. Marines and hospitals like NorthShore University HealthSystem, were sued for denying these religious and/or medical accommodation requests to the COVID vaccine, again with a mixture of victories and defeats by the plaintiffs; the defeats are examples of major injustices, especially to employees. Furthermore, some employers, like the U.S. Marines, even after the judge ruled against their denial of accommodation requests by employees, are still denying the accommodations, thereby defying court orders, which are yet more injustices against workers in today’s times.

Thankfully, in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration case ruled in January 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court(SCOTUS) did rightfully rule that Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) vaccine mandate on employers was unconstitutional, which was followed by many, but sadly not all, employers eliminating their COVID vaccine mandates, along with the COVID testing mandates too in the cases of some employers. Although it is unfortunate that the SCOTUS did not rule that The OSH Act, which created OSHA, is also unconstitutional and violates the rights of employers, and thereby makes it more expensive, and thereby harder, for employees to get hired, perhaps the silver lining is that SCOTUS would’ve ruled incorrectly that The OSH Act is constitutional had it tried to rule on it at all, which perhaps makes it overall good that SCOTUS didn’t even try to rule on the constitutionality (truly, the lack thereof) of The OSH Act. Laborers in the time that Labor Day officially became a national holiday did not have to deal with the burdens imposed by the OSH Act by which laborers today must.

While some may point out and counter argue that forcing employers to employ people who refuse the COVID vaccines violates the employers’ rights and liberties, they may not be incorrect, after all, “private companies can do whatever they want, right?” or so says the common talking point at the time of this writing. However, it is imperative to understand that liberty must be holistically applied, rather than selectively, otherwise it cannot be said that liberty truly prevails. As such, all the mandated shutdowns of in-person businesses by every U.S. state governor, with the one and only exception of South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, starting in March 2020, and social distancing mandates have egregiously violated liberty and individual rights far beyond excusable levels, assuming there are any excusable levels whatsoever to ever violate liberty; there are not. Furthermore, these lockdowns consequently disrupted supply chains on a global scale, destabilized the financial markets, and forced many businesses and employers into bankruptcy or to permanently close down, which thereby destroyed many alternative employment opportunities, that wouldn’t have implemented any COVID-related policies, which employees would’ve likely otherwise had, essentially forcing most employees to be dependent on their current jobs.

While no level of violating liberty or rights is acceptable, compared to the income tax, which also violates liberty, the COVID-19 policies have dwarfed that. As such, one cannot make a legitimate argument defending employers’ rights to impose COVID vaccine requirements on employees while also defending the liberty-violating COVID mandates; at the time of this writing, millions of U.S. citizens, perhaps hundreds of millions, practice this type of cognitive dissonance.

In my first essay about Labor Day, I brought up the example of how factories, major employers in the 19th century, that offer better working conditions, even at lower pay, would be the way to deal with factories that don’t provide air conditioning but provide higher pay. Similarly, employers that offer better working conditions in the COVID context, such as by imposing no vaccine, testing, or mask mandates, could spring up, even if at trade-offs like lower pay. However, because the government interfered with the free market by imposing these lockdown mandates, along with all the costly regulations and taxes that employers are coerced to comply with, the labor force was deprived of these alternative employment options, demonstrating how it is government interference and regulations, far more so than even the biggest examples of employer malevolence, that harms workers.

It is also important to note that these costly taxes and regulations, created by government and not by employers, didn’t exist to harm the workers of the time in which Labor Day officially become a national holiday. Additionally, the government was pressuring the employers to impose tougher working conditions, like the COVID vaccine mandates, on employees, along with pressuring employers to accept the entirety of the mainstream COVID narrative spewed out by the mainstream media. Perhaps most nefariously, similar to how the federal government paid hospitals for every patient that got tested positive for COVID-19 or was put on a ventilator, for a time the federal government, through the American Rescue Plan(ARP), was also paying employers for every employee that took the COVID vaccine, for which there is no constitutional or moral authority; laborers in earlier centuries did not have to deal with this adversity, unlike contemporary laborers. Talk about exploitation of workers, per the popular talking point of Karl Marx and believers of his works. For another example of how socialism, rather than capitalism, exploits workers, see my post here about how the airline industry, thanks to socialism, exploits both its workers and the taxpayers.

Furthermore, thanks to very high inflation, which is also caused by government rather than employers and which also didn’t exist to burden the workers at the time when Labor Day first became a national holiday, the cost of living has been pushed to much higher levels than previously, unjustly and destructively making it harder for employees to find alternative employment at similar pay to cover living expenses, along with better working conditions.

As such, to conclude this essay, the lesson regarding Labor Day that we all should learn is that like it has always been, it is not the government that has improved the working conditions, pay, or overall standard of living of employees; rather, it is the free market that enables the creation of a multitude of employment opportunities that maximizes the benefits and overall standard of living for employees. The free market also produces an improvement of those benefits over the long run, through benefits like higher pay, better working conditions, and benefits like weekends as well as more paid vacation, which the government does not.

Source: Liberty Forecast Blog

Image: Pixabay

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