President Biden announces new employer mandated COVID-19 vaccine policy
On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced new regulations that require certain “large” employers to mandate their employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations or submit to at least weekly COVID testing. The regulations seek to induce Americans who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to get a shot and will likely apply to more than 100 million workers.
In the coming weeks, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an emergency rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers get vaccinated or get tested weekly. The new OSHA rule will also apply to certain public sector state and local government workers.
The deadline for private sector employers to comply with the anticipated new OSHA rule will not be set until OSHA actually issues its rule, which is expected in the next several weeks. Nonetheless, employers with more than 100 employees should begin the process of preparing policies that comply with the anticipated new rule. Businesses that do not comply with the anticipated new OSHA rule could face fines in the rage of $10,000 to $14,000 per violation.
While the vaccination mandate will generally apply to all employees who work at companies that employ more than 100 workers, there are certain exceptions for employees recognized under the law, including those with a medical condition or disability that prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and employees who object to receiving the vaccine based on a sincerely held religious belief. Employers should work with any such employee who requests a reasonable accommodation.
Employers should act now to understand the ramifications of the anticipated new rule and be prepared to implement its provisions. If you have questions regarding the new OSHA rule and how to effectively implement its provisions, please contact the Employment attorneys at Chuhak & Tecson
Client alert authored by Ryan A. Haas (312 855 4614), Principal and General Counsel.
This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.