OSHA To Set January 4, 2022 As Enforcement Date For Vaccine Mandate

Nov 4, 2021

Last week, the the RV Industry Association Workplace Safety Taskforce hosted a virtual seminar and round table discussion focused on practical takeaways for understanding and implementing the vaccine mandate. Members can view a recording of the seminar here

View the Biden Administration Fact Sheet here

President Biden will announce Thursday that certain employers must ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or tested weekly by Jan. 4, 2022, or face federal fines starting at tens of thousands of dollars per offense, according to senior administration officials.

The big picture: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will enforce the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which affects about two-thirds of all U.S. workers.

  • Some businesses and hospitals have already started to enforce vaccination requirements, with so far minimal non-compliance.

Details: Employers with 100 or more workers must implement a mandatory vaccination program and/or mandate weekly testing and masks for those who refuse the vaccine. Two doses of either Pfizer or the Moderna shots or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine will be acceptable.

  • OSHA will mostly rely on complaints to investigate violations, administration officials said.
  • Fines for violating the vaccination rules could start at $13,653 each and go as high as $136,532 per violation if employers are found to be willfully non-compliant or repeat offenses. The amounts are in line with violations for other rules the agency enforces.
  • The 21 states with their own health and safety oversight will have 30 days to adopt OSHA's standard or align with their own similar standards, officials said.

Health care systems and facilities will not have a testing option, but like other businesses will have to submit medical and religious exemptions. Cutting facilities out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs for refusal to comply is a "last resort," one senior administration official said.

Read the full article from Axios here

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