WASHINGTON D.C.–President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9 that employers with 100 employees or more will be forced to require coronavirus vaccinations or test employees weekly.
This mandate is expected to affect as many as 100 million Americans. The 17 million healthcare workers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also have to be fully vaccinated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be instructed by Biden to make a rule requiring employees of companies to be tested. The companies will have to pay for the testing, however they can pass the cost on to employees.
An executive order is to be signed by Biden, requiring vaccinations for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government, with no option to test instead. This impacts several million more workers.
Biden aims to also double federal fines for airline passengers who refuse to wear masks on flights or maintain face covering requirements on federal property in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention guidelines.
The rule will also require large companies provide paid time off for the employee’s vaccination.
“If a workplace refuses to follow the standard, the OSHA fines can be quite significant,” said White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients during a press briefing. Businesses that refuse to comply with the mandate could be fined up to $13,600 per violation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in July that a federal vaccine mandate was “not the role of the federal government.”