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President Biden Announces COVID Fighting Measures Impacting Employers and Employees

September 11, 2021 | Employment Law

“President Biden is implementing a six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy that employs the same science-based approach that was used to successfully combat previous variants of COVID-19 earlier this year. This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage.”

-The White House

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been tasked with developing an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which will apply to more than 80 million private-sector workers. The ETS will go through an expedited review process and be published in the coming weeks. To ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, the rule OSHA is developing will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the Emergency Temporary Standard.

Implementation of this plan depends on authorization of boosters by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendations by the CDC’s independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). As soon as authorizations are given, the Administration will be prepared to offer booster shots, starting the week of September 20th.

The President’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements—these requirements will become dominant in the workplace.