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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Thursday, the State of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the federal government to stop its mandatory vaccination requirement against COVID-19.

“Biden’s vaccine mandates are a clear abuse of power. He does not have the authority to make healthcare decisions for Oklahomans,” Attorney General John O’Connor said. “It is sinister that Biden is threatening Oklahomans with the loss of their jobs if they do not surrender their personal rights and freedoms to the federal government. The President is using private employers to do his dirty work.”

Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly, the White House said Thursday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

The new requirements, which were first previewed by President Joe Biden in September, will apply to about 84 million workers at medium and large businesses, although it is not clear how many of those employees are unvaccinated.

Tougher rules will apply to another 17 million people who work in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. Those workers will not have an option for testing and will need to be vaccinated.

OSHA says workers will be able to ask for exemptions on medical or religious grounds.

Attorney General O’Connor and 20 other Attorneys General wrote President Biden last week to challenge his Administration’s mandatory vaccination requirement for federal contractors.

O’Connor says this mandate will cause many Oklahomans to lose their jobs.

“How can they pay their mortgages and car payments? Then, months from now Biden and the democratic Congress will dole out trillions of dollars to support the people Biden drove out of the workforce,” General O’Connor said. “Who is going to pay for this?”

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has acquired outside counsel to assist with the lawsuit.

“We appreciate the support from our State’s Senate and the House,” Attorney General O’Connor said. “With their support, we can stand up for the rights of Oklahomans and defend the rule of law against federal overreach.”

View a copy of the federal contract lawsuit filing here.

In addition, O’Connor says another lawsuit is in the works to challenge the OSHA rules that were released today.