The White House has announced that OSHA will develop a new temporary emergency standard requiring private employers of 100 or more employees to mandate full vaccination or weekly testing for employees. In addition, the President reportedly will sign an Executive Order expanding the requirements for federal contractors to vaccinate their employees which may reach contractors whose employees are not at government facilities. According to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, there will be limited exceptions to the new mandates, including for religious objections or for those with disabilities. The White House expects the new OSHA standard to apply to more than 80 million private-sector workers. The rule, as an emergency temporary standard, would undergo expedited review with no public comment period. The rule is expected to be published in the coming weeks and take effect shortly after publication. A fact sheet provided by the White House said workers must be given paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side-effects.
Senior officials said OSHA would have the ability to fine noncomplying businesses up to $14,000 per violation. Workers at companies subject to the regulation who still refuse to get vaccinated would need to show proof of a negative virus test at least once per week before reporting to their worksite.
The President is expected to give a speech today announcing these moves. We will post additional details as they become available.