On September 9th, 2021, President Biden ordered the Labor Department, also known as OSHA, to issue mandatory vaccine mandates for companies with 100+ employees. The President also stated that employees who do not wish to be vaccinated will need to conduct weekly COVID testing, however, it is unclear which tests will be accepted at this point.
OSHA has yet to enforce this order but is expected to begin rolling out a plan within the upcoming weeks using emergency authority. This mandate is expected to impact nearly 80 million private-sector workers. Employers who do not comply with these orders could face a fine of around $13,600, per violation.
In addition to the 80 million private-sector workers that will be affected by this announcement, the President also placed an executive order requiring all federal workers and about 17 million health care workers in hospitals and clinics that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must also get vaccinated. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be tasked with enforcing the mandates for healthcare workers.
The White House has suggested that private-sector employees have about 50-90 days to comply and get vaccinated once OSHA begins to enforce the mandate. OSHA only has jurisdiction in 29 states, so those other 21 states have their own agencies that are also expected to enforce this mandate on their own timeline.
For healthcare workers, the CMS is issuing a so-called interim final rule, which becomes effective immediately upon official release, in mid-to-late October. The CMS has notified all workers who are not currently vaccinated to begin the process immediately. Federal workers will have about 75 days to get vaccinated.
These mandates are new and are subject to be updated, so check back for more. If you have any questions about how these mandates will affect your business, please reach out to CKH Group here.
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