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The proposed mandate will require businesses with 100 or more workers to either get vaccinated or get tested weekly.
September 10, 2021
The Department of Labor made an interesting move yesterday. The department proposed mandating that employees either must get vaccinated or face mandatory weekly testing. This applies to all businesses with 100 or more workers.
President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered the sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans. This includes private-sector employees, health care workers and federal contractors. The proposed mandate is an all-out attempt to curb the spiking COVID-19 delta variant.
According to AP News, the president directly addressed the tens of millions of Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives.
“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”
Keith Wilkes, a labor and employment partner/shareholder at the national law firm Hall Estill, has been fielding inquiries about the announcement.
“The emergency OSHA rule will require all private sector employers with at least 100 employees to mandate vaccinations in their workforce or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis. [This] is expected to impact over 80 million private sector workers,” Wilkes says.
“OSHA, which falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement the new rule. Although the timing of when the ETS requirement will go into effect is not clear, it will likely not be a long wait. The federal government did its legal homework before implementing the same mandate, via Executive Order, for federal employees in July. Today, however, President Biden announced that he is removing the regular testing option for federal employees and employees of all federal contractors.”
Employers impacted by the new OSHA rule will be required to explore their options. They will need to figure out whether reasonable accommodation exists for those employees who seek refuge from the vaccination mandate. This could be because of a sincerely held religious belief, or a disability-based reason.
“Absent falling into one of those two categories, unvaccinated private sector employees who fall under this new rule will have no choice but to obtain full vaccination if they wish to keep their current job,” says Wilkes.
With such a divisive decree on the table, we wanted to know what our partners think. What does this mean for the channel? What are the challenges that will occur as a result?
Click through our gallery above to see what partners had to say.
Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.
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