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Biden Orders Vaccines For Larger Private Sector Employers

September 14, 2021

Federal employees would need to be vaccinated as a way to control COVID-19 spread under an executive order signed Thursday by President Joe Biden. 

The President also announced that in the coming weeks, companies with 100 or more employees will be required to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative at least once a week.

On the federal worker mandate, there will be limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons, such as disability or religious objections, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. The administration expects federal employees to have about 75 days to be fully vaccinated.

“That gives people more than enough time, in our view, to start and complete their vaccination series,” she said.

If a federal worker fails to comply, they will go through the standard human resources process, which includes counseling, and face disciplinary action. Each agency is going to work with employees to make sure they understand the benefits of vaccination and how the vaccines are free, easy and widely accessible.

As far as the mandates to larger employers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is going to quarterback this initiative, which will apply to more than 80 million private-sector workers.

The emergency standard will go through an expediated review process and be published in the coming weeks. The rule will go into effect shortly thereafter, with OSHA having the ability to fine businesses up to $14,000 per violation.

In response, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said, “The only thing it seems our government is more concerned about than COVID is their obsession with vaccines.

“This is not about health care. It is about control. It is about control when the government dictates the private health decisions of its citizens. It is about control when the government restricts acceptable health treatments to one specific option. It is about control when the government forces private business to make a specific status a condition of employment.”

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