Biden administration sets January 4 deadline for vaccination mandate

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Under new OSHA requirements, workers are considered fully immunized if they have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Companies should provide paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated and sick leave for side effects if needed. And employers are not required to pay or provide testing, although some may still be forced to do so by other laws or agreements with unions.

Companies that violate the rule may be subject to fines, depending on how often they violate it and whether the violations are intentional, a White House official said. An OSHA penalty is typically $ 13,653 for each serious violation.

Over the past month, the Department of Labor has received comments on the rule from business groups, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, as well as executives from UPS, Walt Disney Company, Fidelity Investments. and many others. They raised concerns about costs, logistics and the potential impact on employees.

Requiring vaccines or regular testing “could dramatically reduce the labor pool, especially in certain geographies and among certain demographics where vaccine reluctance is prevalent,” the National Retail Federation wrote to OSHA last month. “NRF members, like employers across the economy, are already struggling to find workers.”

The January deadline allows retailers and logistics companies, both of which are short on staff, to get through the holiday shopping season before instituting requirements. The same deadline applies to federal contractors, who are subject to their own stricter rules, and healthcare workers covered by new emergency regulations.

Companies that have already mandated vaccines, including 3M, Procter & Gamble, IBM and the airlines American, Alaska and JetBlue, have not seen large numbers of employees quit under pressure to get vaccinated, although a small minority of workers have given up their jobs.

United Airlines, one of the first major airlines to require vaccines for its 67,000 US employees, said in September that more than 99% of its employees were vaccinated. Tyson Foods, which set a deadline for Nov. 1, said more than 96 percent of employees were vaccinated, up from less than 50 percent before announcing his tenure in August.


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