12 Oct President Biden Orders New Mandates to Combat COVID-19
To combat the COVID-19 pandemic more aggressively, President Biden has directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a rule requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that workers be vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test result on a weekly basis before coming to work. The rule also requires covered employers to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated or recover if they become ill after being vaccinated.
The text of the rule has not been released, and OSHA is developing an Emergency Temporary Standard to implement the new workplace requirements that is expected to impact over 80 million private sector workers. Employers that do not comply with the vaccine mandate or paid-time-off requirement can face financial penalties.
President Biden also signed an executive order requiring vaccinations for all federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government, as well as for healthcare workers in settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. The vaccine requirement will include exemptions for individuals with disabilities and for those who refuse the vaccination on religious grounds.
These executive orders come as the nation is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 transmission rates and call on private sector businesses to increase the vaccinated population.