President Biden Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

September 10, 2021
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a sweeping mandate (the “Mandate”), to “ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 . . . , while also . . . protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage.”

Among other things, the Mandate directs the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) to implement this requirement.

The Mandate also directs OSHA to develop a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will also be implemented through an ETS.

Employers that do not comply with the vaccine mandate or paid-time-off requirement can face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. The new standards are expected to be issued in the coming weeks.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, and federal, state, and local governments issue additional guidance, employers need to be cognizant of new guidance and requirements. For more information, please visit S&C’s page regarding Coronavirus updates.