From January 4th, U.S. businesses which hire more than 100 employees will have to ensure that their workforce is fully jabbed (any which remain unvaccinated will have to do weekly Covid tests), or face close to $14,000 in fines. The mandate will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) through usual workplace inspections, with repeat offenders at risk of being punished by a staggering $136,532 fine. The Mail has more.
Workers who fall under Biden’s order will need to receive their final dose – or only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – by January 4th of the new year, the official said. After that date, employers will need to implement at least weekly Covid testing for those who aren’t fully vaccinated.
Enforcement of the rule, an official said on a background call Wednesday evening, will be just as that of any other rule, which includes inspections to check for compliance.
Red states are likely to rebuke the new rule, and it is currently unclear how the Federal Government will grapple with that if they try not to comply.
A fact sheet of the new rule from the White House Thursday morning states OSHA is “making clear that their new rules pre-empt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing”.
Republicans are furious over the new rule.
“Our economy is crumbling, and President Biden is doing everything in his power to make it worse”, Senator Marsha Blackburn said in a statement. “While businesses scramble to fill the 10.4 million open jobs in our country, Biden’s vaccine mandate will push even more Americans out of the workforce”.
She also tweeted Thursday morning: “Joe Biden is firing essential workers.”
Republican Representative Jody Hice of Georgia insisted to the Mail: “No American should be forced to choose between putting food on their tables or receiving a vaccine.”
GOP Representative Byron Donalds of Florida told the Mail: “Despite the Democrats’ shellacking this week, the Biden administration is pressing on with their unconstitutional mandate requiring private businesses to mandate vaccination to avoid fines up to $1 million”
“Americans from southwest Florida and all across the nation will have to choose between food on the table or taking a shot they feel they do not need”, he lamented. “This tyrannical mandate is a gross infringement of medical privacy and the individual rights of every American and won’t hold water in the judicial system”.
The stringent new guidelines have been put in place amid widespread backlash to mandates, including bids from Republicans to overturn it to keep people in their jobs, fears of staff shortages and first responders in major cities being turned away from work.
Vaccine mandates have already been put in place in many cities across the country.
Worth reading in full.