President Joe Biden proposed a set of measures on September 9 to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic more forcefully, including a new law requiring firms with 100 or more employees to require their staff to get vaccinated or endure weekly testing. Biden also issued an administrative directive mandating that most federal employees and contractors receive the COVID-19 vaccine, eliminating the option of regular testing instead. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an emergency order that will affect 80 million workers and would compel unvaccinated workers to be checked at least once a week.
Most federal employees and contractors, as well as most healthcare personnel around the country, must get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the president’s orders. Biden stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor is working on an interim emergency regulation aimed at private-sector enterprises with 100 or more employees, which is expected to affect over 80 million workers. This rule will be in the form of an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which permits the agency to quickly establish restrictions if a “grave danger” to worker safety exists.
The declaration was made as part of President Joe Biden’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” strategy. It contains vaccine obligations for federal contractors and describes a six-pronged, inclusive national procedure to withstand COVID-19.
Penalty For Employers Who Do Not Comply With The New Rules
Employers would now be required to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated or recuperate from any vaccine-related adverse effects. Employers who refuse to adhere to the vaccine obligation or the paid-time-off requirement risk being fined up to $14,000 per infraction. Officials said that from the time the executive order is signed, federal employees and contractors would have roughly 75 days to get fully immunized. Individuals with impairments and those who oppose immunization for religious reasons will be excluded from the vaccine mandate.
Joe Biden is also extending a rule that prevents government funding from going to nursing homes that don’t require personnel to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to “most healthcare settings” that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, which covers 17 million healthcare workers.
When Is the ETS Most Likely to Be Released?
While the Biden administration did not provide a timetable or date for OSHA to issue the ETS, it is evident that the administration is moving quickly. OSHA is expected to issue the ETS rather soon — probably within the next few weeks, especially if it has been in the process behind the curtains for some time. The ETS will take effect immediately in the 29 states where federal OSHA has jurisdiction once it is released. However, in areas where the federal government does not have control over worker safety, the ETS or “just-as-effective measures” must be implemented within 15 to 30 days. The ETS can be in effect for up to six months. It must be amended by a fixed Osha regulation after that time, which must go through a rigorous regulatory process that involves a regular notice-and-comment session.
Joe Biden also intends to strengthen the number of people working in the healthcare field
Increases in federal workers deployed to hospitals are part of Biden’s new coronavirus and economic recovery strategy. The goal is to speed up the delivery of monoclonal antibodies and coronavirus diagnostics to treat coronavirus patients. Fines for disobeying the government’s mass transit mask mandate will be doubled. The regulation also includes expanding small business loans and loan forgiveness, as well as pushing for vaccine mandates and regular testing in schools.
What prompted the decision
COVID-19 infections are on the upswing in the United States, prompting the executive orders and administration response. Last month, Biden stated that federal employees must be wholly vaccinated or undergo frequent testing and wear a mask. He also required COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing facility employees. Biden intends to combat the Delta variant’s threat in the US by proposing new rules and making it difficult for federal employees to avoid existing ones.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variation is responsible for more than 90% of COVID-19 patients in the United States. Even though daily cases have started to fall, they constitute roughly 136,000 per day on average. Everyday infections of the coronavirus should preferably be less than 10,000, according to Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor. Hospitalizations and deaths daily remain high, at around 100,000 and 1,000, respectively.