In SummaryThe mandate will apply to businesses with at least 100 employees and it's projected to cover at least 84 million people.
President Joe Biden and his administration announced a vaccination mandate for businesses for Jan. 4, 2022, which is the same deadline for health care workers and employees of federal contractors, according to The Hill.
Additionally, businesses will have the choice of making regular testing and mask-wearing options for their employees.
This mandate was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and it’s for businesses with 100 employees or more and is projected to cover 84 million people.
“While vaccination remains the most effective and efficient defense against COVID-19, this emergency temporary standard will protect all workers, including those who remain unvaccinated, by requiring regular testing and the use of face coverings by unvaccinated workers to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick in an OSHA news release. “As part of OSHA’s mission to protect the safety and health of workers, this rule will provide a roadmap to help businesses keep their workers safe.”
Additionally, it requires employers to give paid time off to employees to get the vaccine and paid leave to employees who are dealing with side effects from the vaccine that prevent them from going back to work, according to The Hill.
This comes at a time when at least 750,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19. OSHA believes this mandate will save thousands of lives and avoid at least 250,000 hospitalizations due to exposure to the deadly virus in the workplace.
“This is significant progress, made possible by a vaccinations program that made shots free and convenient for months,” a White House news release stated. “But more vaccinations are needed to save lives, protect the economy, and accelerate the path out of the pandemic.”