Through a provision attached to the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” spending bill, the Biden administration is attempting to increase the financial penalty tenfold for companies which continue to employ unvaccinated citizens. Due to previous emergency legislation, Federal law identifies the spread of Covid as a workplace hazard, allowing President Biden to become further unimpeded in his task of fully vaccinating the American workforce if the provision passes both chambers of Congress. MailOnline has the story.
The increased fines on employers could go as high as $70,000 for serious infractions, and $700,000 for wilful or repeated violations – a sum which can be applied to each instance of a violation rather than a total limit.
If enacted into law, the fines could rapidly bankrupt companies whose employees are not vaccinated, in effect forcing businesses to comply with Biden’s inoculation drive.
It comes after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an emergency Covid rule in the Federal Register this summer, which added Covid to a list of possible workplace hazards for healthcare employment.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new vaccine enforcement mechanism.
On Thursday September 9th, Biden announced that companies with 100 or more employees must ensure every worker is either fully vaccinated or gets tested at least once a week, or face fines of thousands of dollars.
He also demanded that all workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement – roughly 17 million people – must get vaccinated, and signed an executive order requiring all federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated.
Now, the raise in fines included in the new bill formulates the latest part of the President’s drive to get 100 million employees across the federal government and private sector vaccinated.
Any business that violates the rule can already face substantial fines of up to $14,000 per incident, but the legislation that has been included in the new $3.5 trillion bill could raise the fines for non-compliance 10 times higher, with a limit of up to $700,000 for each “wilful” or “repeated” violation according to Forbes.
Worth reading in full.