On September 9, President Biden ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an emergency rule requiring all private-sector businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workforces to be fully vaccinated or test negative at least once a week. This new requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses. The plan also includes new support for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 via the Small Business Administration (SBA). Additionally, OSHA will develop a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. It is expected that guidance from OSHA will be issued shortly. Businesses that do not comply with this new Temporary Standard face potential fines.
According to the White House, the mandate will come in the form of an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
What It Means For Vaccinations
According to President Biden, the new Emergency Temporary Standard will be issued to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates, keep schools open, and mitigate the upturn in COVID-19 cases. President Biden emphasized that leading scientists have confirmed the vaccines provide strong protection against severe coronavirus symptoms. Affected business owners will need to develop means to accommodate employees who cite religious beliefs or a disability-based reason to avoid vaccination.
Thursday’s order strengthened the July directive for federal workers by directly mandating they receive a vaccine, thereby removing the regular-testing option for those without a medical or religious exemption. It similarly requires vaccinations without an option to undergo regular testing instead for more than 17 million medical-care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid.
To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.
RCM&D will continue to monitor new and evolving COVID-19 rules and regulations as they are announced. If you have any questions about President Biden’s new COVID-19 plan and what it means for your organization, talk to a trusted RCM&D advisor today.
It is important to remember, an effective vaccination effort includes well-thought-out policies, educational programs, consideration of targeted incentives and most importantly, a mechanism to measure the success of your program. Fill out of the form below to talk to a trusted SISCO advisor today for more on vaccination mandates and how our vaccine-tracking tool can help your organization.