The White House on Thursday issued a series of directives relating to President Joe Biden’s nationwide vaccine mandate for private companies, which it said will go into effect on Jan. 4.
In a fact sheet issued by the Biden administration, employers with 100 or more workers were threatened with harsh punishments for employing people who are not vaccinated, or who are not wearing masks and being tested for COVID on a weekly basis. The White House said 84 million workers will be subject to the mandate.
The White House claimed that the vaccine requirement will help the economy.
“Today, the Biden Administration is announcing the details of two policies to fight COVID-19 that will drive even more progress and result in millions of Americans getting vaccinated, protecting workers, preventing hospitalization, saving lives, and strengthening the economy,” the White House said. “First, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.”
“The OSHA rule will also require that these employers provide paid time for employees to get vaccinated, and ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace,” added the fact sheet.
The White House said it will use the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Department of Health and Human Services to go after health care workers who care for patients enrolled in federal programs.
Seventeen million health care employees must be fully vaccinated.
“Employees falling under the ETS, CMS, or federal contractor rules will need to have their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022,” the White House warned.
“The rule applies to employees regardless of whether their positions are clinical or non-clinical and includes employees, students, trainees, and volunteers who work at a covered facility that receives federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid,” said the White House. “It also includes individuals who provide treatment or other services for the facility under contract or other arrangements.”
Facilities that will be impacted include hospitals, surgery centers, dialysis centers, private homes serviced by traveling health contractors and nursing homes.
A senior White House official told reporters during a news briefing on Wednesday that employers found to be in violation of Biden’s mandate face stiff penalties.
Asked what a fine for non-compliance to OSHA would look like, a White House official said there would be “a standard penalty of $14,000.”
“So $14,000 per item that would be cited. So if there were multiple items out of the standard that we cited, there would be, you know, multiple penalties that could be issued along with that,” the person said. “We also would assess whether or not there were multiple violations depending on the number of instances of the violation that we were looking at. So, you know, potentially there could be multiples of that. But it would depend upon the situation during the inspection and the evidence that was presented.”
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky warned that enforcing Biden’s vaccine mandate will further strain the country’s supply chains.
If Biden’s OSHA & Fed contractor vax mandates are strictly applied to truckers, there will be a supply chain disaster.
37% of truckers say they’ll quit, retire, or switch jobs if the mandate hits them. Some can switch to smaller companies, but if 5% quit or retire, it’ll be BAD!
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 3, 2021
“If Biden’s OSHA & Fed contractor vax mandates are strictly applied to truckers, there will be a supply chain disaster,” warned Massie. “37% of truckers say they’ll quit, retire, or switch jobs if the mandate hits them. Some can switch to smaller companies, but if 5% quit or retire, it’ll be BAD!”