The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced employers who have more than 100 workers have two months to comply with President Biden’s vaccine mandate or face thousands in fines for not complying, the White House announced Thursday.
Companies that wish to not comply will be required by OSHA to require COVID tests “on at least a weekly basis,” according to the White House fact sheet. Employers will not be required by the federal government to provide or pay for the tests, but the White House notes that employers may be required to provide those tests based on other “laws or collective bargaining agreements.”
As for its federal contractor vaccine mandate, the White House says that deadline has been moved from December 8 to Jan. 4.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said in September when announcing federal mandates. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office… We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for a while.”
The administration also announced a new rule for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid patients. Workers at those facilities will be required to be vaccinated by January 4 and covers 76,000 health care operations and 17 million health care workers.
“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,” the White House said in its statement. “It also includes individuals who provide treatment or other services for the facility under contract or other arrangements. Among the facility types covered by the rule are hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis facilities, home health agencies, and long-term care facilities.”
Employers who willfully ignore the federal vaccine mandate will face a $14,000 fine for a single violation, according to a senior administration official.
The same official notes that fines could pile up for multiple penalties.