September 10, 2021

New Vaccine Mandates


President Joe Biden announced a sweeping new COVID-19 Action Plan – Path Out of the Pandemic – which included new rounds of vaccine mandates for various industries.

The plan mandates employees working for private employers with 100 or more workers, federal government, federal contractors and healthcare facilities must get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing.

Here is a brief rundown about the President’s plan.

Employers with 100+ employees

Biden has directed the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to mandate employers fitting this criteria to have their workforce fully vaccinated or subject to weekly COVID-19 tests before entering the workplace. Biden also announced employers must provide paid time off to employees that develop side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

This affects nearly 80 million Americans in the private sector. However, there is no timetable on when – and if – this can be enforced.

Federal contractors

Biden signed two executive orders, one mandating vaccination for all executive branch employees and employees of some federal contractors. Previously, the administration had only mandated COVID-19 vaccines for Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the National Institutes of Health employees.

This new order eliminates the testing option for those who are unvaccinated unless they have an approved exemption. This order is expected to affect more than 4 million Americans.

Healthcare employers

The plan states Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services must require vaccination for employees in most healthcare settings such as hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies as a condition to continue receiving federal funding.

This new requirement will affect at least 17 million Americans.