Employers who have wrestled with the issue of whether or not to mandate employee vaccinations, received some guidance and direction from the Biden administration.
On September 9, President Biden issued an executive order that required all companies with 100 or more employees to mandate full vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing once a week as a condition of employment. In addition, the executive order also removed the weekly testing option for federal workers, government contractors, and requires that healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicare dollars are fully vaccinated.
The order is an aggressive step aimed at countering the recent rise in the number of cases of the Delta variant popping up across the country, but stands in contrast to the administrations typical labor-friendly stance. The COVID-19 Action Plan also mandates paid time off for employees to get vaccinated or recover from the vaccination’s effects.
President Biden has placed the responsibility of figuring out the details of the regulations and how they are to be implemented on OSHA’s doorstep. The agency is charged with issuing a Emergency Temporary Standard which will clarify what is expected of employers, but there is not a specific start date referenced in the executive order. Large employers are in a holding pattern for now, but will need to be ready to act once the requirements of the executive order are issued.
As information is released, we will provide update and guidance. If you have questions in the mean time, please feel free to your DII representive.