On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his action plan to fight the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine mandates outlined in the plan directly affect many employers, including businesses in the healthcare field or those with 100 or more employees. The safety requirements will be enforced by the Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Biden’s strategy also includes further protection for vaccinated individuals, keeping schools open, increased testing and masking, economic recovery, and improved care for those with COVID-19.
Though it is unclear when or what portions of this strategy will go into effect, here’s what we know so far:
What would be required of businesses under this plan?
Affected businesses will need to require employees to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week. The plan also includes requiring the same group of employers to provide paid time off for employees to get and recover from the vaccine.
Who will be affected by the vaccine mandates?
While we’re still waiting on the official OSHA rule, here are the categories of businesses that might be impacted:
- Businesses with 100 or more employees
- Healthcare providers that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement
- Nursing homes
- Federal contractors
- Executive branch federal employees
- Teachers and school employees (will depend on state regulations)
For more guidance on planning for a vaccine mandate, check out our blog post and webinar from earlier this year.
When will this plan go into effect?
It is uncertain at this time, but more details are being developed as we speak. The White House team doesn’t have an estimation on how long it will take for this to go into effect just yet, but they have conveyed a sense of urgency, according to the press briefing on September 10. We are following this closely, and we’ll keep you up to date as new information is released.
Contact your Nextep HR Business Partner or give us a call at 888.811.5150 if you have any questions or concerns about this update. We are here to help!