President Biden Announces COVID-19 Action Plan That Includes Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers
On September 9, 2021, President Biden released his COVID-19 Action Plan. It includes an announcement that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is developing a rule that would require all employers – including private employers – with 100 or more employees to implement a vaccine mandate, or require unvaccinated workers to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. President Biden’s plan will also require employers to provide paid time off for the time it takes for employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any post-vaccination sickness.
In addition, the plan also calls for:
- A vaccine requirement for all federal workers and for the millions of contractors that do business with the federal government
- A vaccine requirement for more than 17 million health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid-participating hospitals and other health care providers
For months, many employers have struggled with the question of whether (and how) to require vaccines for employees. If OSHA’s rule does go into effect, the Biden Administration may force an answer onto virtually all employers. But the situation remains fluid. We will provide additional analysis if and when OSHA publishes its rule. Moreover, we expect that any such mandate will be subject to legal challenges by various employers and organizations. In the meantime, we are here to help provide guidance to your business during these unprecedented times.