President Joe Biden has recently announced he will be mandating full vaccination against the coronavirus for federal government contractors and employees. Moreover he also announced on Thursday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be conjugating a rule specifically for private businesses with more that a hundred employees to have weekly Covid-19 testings.
The strong implementation of vaccination policies came amidst warnings from scientists that if the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, there is a possibility that it will evolve into a “monster virus” that can cause much greater harm.
President Biden also announced the extension of the interstate travel mask mandate Jan. 18. Otherwise noncompliance will result to doubled fines.
Health care facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are likewise required to have their employees vaccinated.
Lastly, Pres. Biden also appealed directly to unvaccinated Americans to do their part, since the government has made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval, and over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. His plea came with a reprimand that continuing refusal has cost more loss of lives, affecting mostly unvaccinated Americans.
OSHA Develops Rules for Emergency Temporary Standard for Vaccination Requirement
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently in the process of developing a set of rules that will be implemented as Emergency Temporary Standard (EST) in relation to the vaccination requirement. Employers with a workforce constituted by 100 or more employees must ensure that individuals reporting for work are fully vaccinated; or to require those refusing vaccination to undergo weekly testing as proof that they are not COVID-19 positive.
The OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) guidelines for the implementation of said requirement, which is estimated to impact over 80 million workers in the private business sector.
The ETS will include providing a minimum amount for paid leave to help employees recover from any potential side effects of vaccination.
However, the payment for weekly testing and paid leave for testing pose a harder issues if to impose on employers of individuals who simply refuses to get vaccinated. Not unless they have a valid medical or religious reason for their refusal