Many Louisiana Companies Will Now Face Vaccine Mandates
New rules are calling for many employers across the nation to require the Covid vaccine for workers or weekly testing. This new rule announced by the Biden administration this week will impact employers who have more than 100 workers.
All employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4 or get tested weekly for the virus.
The Biden administration hopes this will help end this pandemic which has killed more than 750,000 Americans.
But this new mandate is already facing challenges from several states, private businesses and even the Republican Party is filing suit to stop the implementation.
How Will This Mandate Be Enforced?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations will force the companies to require that unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear a mask while in the workplace.
This mandate could also be expanded to include smaller businesses, but it is currently gathering comment to find out if this would be feasible.
The mandate is even more strict for any business that gets money from Medicare or Medicaid. Workers in those medical facilities must be vaccinated. There will be no option for weekly testing for those who opt out of getting the shot.
Employees can request exemptions on religious or medical grounds, but no specifics have been outlined about what that might include.
President Biden Issued This Statement About This Policy:
"While I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good." President Biden also says earlier measures encouraging the military and federal contractors to require the vaccine have not led to mass firings or worker shortages.
What Happens If Companies Fail to Comply:
OSHA could then impose penalties of close to $14,000 for each violation. But there will be challenges on that front. OSHA only has about 1800 inspectors to monitor more than 100 million workers at 8 million job sites. This could cause an administrative nightmare if complaints from whistleblowers start to come in hot and heavy.
Who Will Pay for the Weekly Tests?
The business will not be on the hook to pay for weekly tests for those who choose not to get the vaccine. But employees must be given paid time off to get the vaccine. Workers will be asked to show a vaccine card to their employers by January 4 or show proof of a negative test each week.