President Biden announced his administration’s new approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic on September 9, 2021. This plan includes a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
What does President Biden’s new plan requirements, and what does this mean for employees? A short answer is that it requires about 100 million American workers to either get the vaccine, get tested weekly, or face disciplinary action (like getting fired).
What Biden’s Plan Requires of Workers
Biden’s new coronavirus vaccination requirements focus on four main groups of workers and employers.
First, there are private employers with 100 or more employees. They must require their workers to get the vaccine or test their employees for the virus at least once a week. Failure to do so could result in significant fines.
Second, most federal employees and federal contractors. About 90% of federal workers will be required to get vaccinated, but this requirement won’t apply to non-executive branch federal employees. And covered government workers will no longer have the option to opt-out of the vaccination requirement by getting regularly tested and social distancing.
Third, the teachers and staff from various federal education-related programs, such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education and Department of Defense. These workers will have to get the vaccine.
Fourth, most health care workers at facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement must get the vaccine. It’s estimated this will add up to about 17 million workers.
Workers subject to these requirements are still eligible for religious or medical exemptions as recognized by law.
Bottom Line: The White House has taken a significant step in trying to get more people vaccinated. The new rules are pretty much telling about two-thirds of working Americans to get vaccinated “or else.” How the legal challenges and employee resistance efforts play out remains to be seen. source
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