White House announces plans to mandate vaccination for millions of employees

Sep 13, 2021

On September 10, the Biden administration announced a new six-prong strategy as part of its ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Headlining this plan is the President’s directive to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to issue emergency temporary standards that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are vaccinated or produce negative test results on at least a weekly basis. These employers will also need to provide paid time off to any worker who wishes to get vaccinated or who feels ill after receiving a dose of the vaccine. The White House estimates this directive will cover over eighty million workers in the private sector. The new standards are still in development, and it was not immediately clear when they would be released or take effect.

The President also announced the signing of a new Executive Order that mandates vaccination for every federal worker in the executive branch and employees of contractors who do business with the federal government. Through additional executive action, the President will likewise require vaccination for workers of most healthcare providers that accept Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Workers who are not yet fully vaccinated will be given a limited window of time within which they can receive both shots without penalty. Though the exact length of time has not yet to be determined, the White House offered 75 days as an estimate.

There are many lingering questions that are likely to be answered when these regulations are ultimately released, which is anticipated to be a few weeks from now. In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to our professionals with any questions you may have about vaccinations or COVID-19 mitigation in your workplace. Here at K|W|W, your workforce is our priority.