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- Shot, Swab, or Scram? Details on the Biden Administration’s New Vaccine Requirement –read now
Shot, Swab, or Scram? Details on the Biden Administration’s New Vaccine Requirement
WCS News Alert
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced new vaccination rules to be developed by OSHA and issued through an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The announcement has since spurred many questions from employers, and a lawsuit from the state of Arizona Attorney General against the Administration.
In the new mandate, private employers with 100 or more employees must require that workers be vaccinated, or be tested for COVID weekly. While employers will be able to adjust their policies to best fit their company, the mandate serves as a minimum level of action required. If private employers fail to comply with the mandate they could be fined up to $14,000 per violation.
Federal agencies and contractors must also require vaccinations for employees, following up on the President’s July 2021 announcement that all government employees must either attest to their vaccine status, or be tested weekly. Federal employees that do not comply could face termination, though the consequence for contractors has not been shared.
Under the new mandate, employers must allow PTO for the time needed to receive a shot and to recover from any side effects, whether it be provided additionally or used from an employee’s existing bank.
With declining vaccination rates, it appears that penalties are now replacing positive incentives in the efforts to increase Americans’ immunity. The Executive Order still leaves unanswered questions as to what types of testing or vaccines will be required, and how proof of vaccines are to be collected and tracked, among other employer concerns. Full details and timelines will not be known until OSHA issues their official rule, which can be expected in the coming weeks. Further information on President Biden’s “Path of the Pandemic Plan” can be found here.
If you are an employer needing assistance in crafting an implementation plan and employee communications in conjunction with these new requirements, please contact an attorney in our Employment Law Group.