The Biden administration has set a January 4, 2022 deadline for businesses in the private sector to comply with new federal guidelines. Under federal requirement, employers in the private sector must ensure that all of their employers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or testing for coronavirus weekly. Any employer that fails to abide by these guidelines could face a fine of up to $14,000 per employee that does not abide by the mandate.
Beginning December 5, employers will also be required to provide paid leave for workers going to get vaccinated. Adding on, workers will be provided up to two weeks of paid leave in order to recover from side effects that may arise after being vaccinated.
The Biden administration has issued a number of COVID-19 guidelines for federal contractors and healthcare workers in recent months. Under federal requirement, federal contractors must be vaccinated by January 4. Also, health care workers must be vaccinated by January 4.
“[The Biden administration's] goal is to bring health care providers into compliance — it is not to punish workers or health care facilities,” a White House official told NBC News.
“However, we will not hesitate to use our full enforcement authority to protect the health and safety of patients.”
NBC News reports that newly implemented COVID-19 guidelines will impact more than 100 million people. With that said, the news outlet also reports that roughly 70% of adults are already vaccinated. Furthermore, a Biden administration official has informed NBC News that the OHSA estimates these guidelines will prevent approximately 250,000 hospitalizations within the first six months and save "thousands of lives."
While there are a number of positives connected to these guidelines, several state officials feel that the Biden administration's mandates infringe upon state's rights and the rights of individual businesses. As a result, more than a dozen states have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration.
“If the federal government attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will and force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations, the workforce and businesses could be decimated, further exacerbating the supply chain and workforce crises,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said, according to the Associated Press.
“The federal government should not be mandating vaccinations, and that’s why we filed suit today – to halt this illegal, unconstitutional action.”
Thus far, the White House has not responded to these lawsuits. However, the deadline for federal contractors to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was pushed back from December to January. It is unclear if lawsuits from individual states impacted that decision.