By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory
Employers have been grappling with whether to enforce vaccine mandates in their companies, however President Biden’s recent Executive Order may now take that decision out of their hands.
Late last week, the President announced his multi-level strategy for combatting the continued spread of COVID-19 – a key piece of which includes sweeping vaccine mandates for many employers.
The mandate for private employers affects those with 100 or more workers. The proposed plan stipulates that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that will require employers to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated or producing a weekly negative test result. Employers will also be required to provide paid time off to employees for the purpose of obtaining a vaccination, and to recover from any side effects resulting from the vaccine.
Employers who fail to abide by this mandate may face stiff penalties of up to $14,000 per violation.
The President’s strategy also includes a mandate for federal workers and contractors, requiring vaccinations for federal executive branch employees, as well as employees of contractors who do business with the federal government, with no testing option.
Additional requirements exist for health care workers. All healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding are also included in the vaccine mandate order, with no testing option.
It remains unclear at this time when more information on these mandates will be released and how they will be implemented, however as additional information becomes known, we will provide updates.