President Biden Will Use OSHA Rule to Require Businesses with 100+ Employees to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations or Weekly Testing

The White House announced a six pronged “Path out of the Pandemic” plan today that includes a direction to OSHA to enact an emergency rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 at least once per week.  It is anticipated that the rule will apply to more than 80 million private sector workers.   As an emergency temporary standard, the rule will undergo an expedited review process before taking effect and will not be subject to public comments.  It is expected to be published in the next several weeks and to take effect shortly after.  Workers must be given paid time off to get the vaccine.  Failure to comply with the rule could result in OSHA fines of up to $14,000 per violation.

Previously, all federal workers and those in health care working at facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid were mandated to be vaccinated.  As of today, the requirement is extended to all federal contractors and their employees.  The Department of Defense issued guidance earlier today stating that contractors must be vaccinated or tested weekly.

In addition, the President’s plan calls on entertainment venues like sports arenas, large concert halls, and other venues where large groups of people gather to require that their patrons be vaccinated or show a negative test for entry.  This requirement is at odds with laws passed in multiple states banning so-called vaccine passports.

You can read additional details of the plan here.

KMK Law articles and blog posts are intended to bring attention to developments in the law and are not intended as legal advice for any particular client or any particular situation. The laws/regulations and interpretations thereof are evolving and subject to change. Although we will attempt to update articles/blog posts for material changes, the article/post may not reflect changes in laws/regulations or guidance issued after the date the article/post was published. Please consult with counsel of your choice regarding any specific questions you may have.

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