COMPLIANCE NEWS: PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES NEW VACCINATION MANDATES
Updated Sept. 21, 2021
On Sept. 9, President Biden announced plans to increase the number of American who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 through expanded vaccine mandates. In total, the announced mandates will apply to about 100 million employees.
The announced mandates cover:
Businesses with 100+ Employees
Businesses with 100 or more employees must require employees be vaccinated or show a negative test result before coming to work each week.
This mandate will be implemented through an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that is forthcoming from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We do not know when OSHA will issue the temporary standard.
These employers will also have to provide paid time off to employees to get vaccinated or recover from the vaccine.
Employers who don’t comply with the vaccine mandate or paid time off requirement will face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
When OSHA releases its temporary rule, we will have more information about the timeline and details of this mandate. This rule will be challenged in court; nevertheless employers should begin to prepare now.
Federal Employees and Contractors
All federal employees will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccination. This was implemented by an executive order, and there is no longer a weekly testing opt-out. Employees will have 75 days to get vaccinated once the order is signed.
Employees at all healthcare facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding will also have to be vaccinated. In effect, this means most healthcare workers will be required to be vaccinated
Any employer affected should prepare their policies now and understand legal requirements. To be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers who implement a mandatory vaccination policy must make exemptions for employees with qualified medical reasons or sincerely held religious belief. Learn more about legal ramifications and the accommodations process in our Mandatory Vaccination Policies video.
Employers who want to provide a testing option for employees need to establish a clear process for how they will collect and track test results and keep this medical information confidential.
What We Don’t Know
Without details provided yet by OSHA, there are many questions we don’t have answers to. These include:
- What proof of vaccination will employees be required to provide?
- Will certain types of testing be required?
- Will the employee or employer pay for testing?
- Do employers have to pay non-exempt employees for the time spent getting the test?
- Will remote employees be required to comply?
- Does the penalty apply to each worksite that is not in compliance?
We will update this blog as we learn more.
Anthros clients may reach out to their Client Relations Manager for mandatory vaccination policy templates and medical and religious exemption forms.