President Biden’s New COVID-19 Plan – What Employers Need to Know
On September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced a new COVID-19 plan that includes several important requirements for employers. All private-sector employers with 100 or more employees will need to require their employees to either be vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result at least once a week. These employers will need to provide paid time off for workers to receive their vaccinations or recover from post-vaccination symptoms. These new vaccination requirements will be governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is expected to release a formal mandate at some point in the near future with additional information, including deadlines to comply with the new requirement and penalties for non-compliance.
In addition to the requirement for private-sector employers, President Biden also signed Executive Orders requiring that all federal workers and all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated. The Executive Order governing federal contractors is effective as of September 9, 2021, while the Executive Order governing federal workers awaits guidance on implementation from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, which is expected by September 16.
Workers in healthcare facilities that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid will need to be vaccinated, as will school staff in programs operated by Head Start and Early Head Start, the Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Large entertainment venues will need to require proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry. The federal agencies responsible for these mandates have yet to provide a specific timeframe for compliance.
Additional guidance, as well as legal challenges, are expected in the coming weeks.
About Paduano & Weintraub LLP
Paduano & Weintraub's Employment Group represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation and counseling. For companies of various sizes, ranging from large public companies to small family-owned businesses, we defend employers nationally, and across various industries, in state and federal actions and arbitrations brought by employees alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation. We defend employers in single plaintiff and collective and class actions throughout the country alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its state and local counterparts. We regularly represent employers in matters regarding restrictive covenants. We counsel clients in risk management by creating proactive solutions to workplace issues. We create and implement compliant and practical policies and best practices to help clients build a workplace infrastructure that balances business needs and legal compliance while mitigating short- and long-term risk. In that regard, we provide effective management-level training seminars and conduct employee harassment training and intervention. Our team responds to and manages the complex issues that arise from workplace crises, including high-profile sexual harassment complaints.