On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an updated national COVID-19 strategy that includes the most sweeping vaccine requirements to date. Of note, under the strategy, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is developing a rule that will mandate all large employers to either: (1) require their workforce to be fully vaccinated, or (2) require any employees who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before reporting to work. Further, large employers will also be required to provide workers with paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from any side effects from vaccination. For purposes of the rule, “large” employers will be any organization that employs 100 or more individuals. The Biden Administration has indicated that these mandates are expected to impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses across the country.
While the anticipated OSHA rule is still in its initial stages, covered employers should begin preparing for implementation immediately. Prior to completion of the Final Rule, OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) to implement these requirements in the near future. Companies that fail to comply may face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
Your BrownWinick employment attorneys will continue to monitor these developments and provide updates accordingly.