OSHA releases guidelines for federal vaccine mandate
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed details of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate rules for large employers on Nov. 4. The business community has been waiting for guidelines to be released since the Sept. 9 announcement of the plan.
To which organizations does the mandate apply?
Those with 100 or more employees company-wide.
What is the deadline for compliance?
Face coverings for unvaccinated employees are required within 30 days. Then employers have until Jan. 4, 2022 to comply with the requirement to either be vaccinated or regularly tested.
Does the mandate apply to remote workers?
The mandate does not apply to staff who do not report to a workplace where other employees or customers are present — such as those working at home or exclusively working outdoors.
Missouri Chamber response
The Missouri Chamber has always taken a stance against attempts to place new government mandates on employers.
“The Missouri Chamber opposes this onerous new federal mandate. Each workplace is different and employers have long held the right to establish vaccine policies that work for their businesses. The Missouri Chamber believes all employers should continue to have this right when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Daniel P. Mehan, President/CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “In contrast with the Biden Administration’s approach, we believe the federal government should instead cooperate with the employer community to encourage vaccination and support employers that exercise their legal right to require vaccination. It’s unfortunate that this new federal policy will likely further divide public sentiment around COVID-19 vaccination.”
Though the Missouri Chamber holds that the federal government should not be able to dictate new, burdensome employer policy, the Missouri Chamber believes the choice to get vaccinated remains key to economic recovery.
Prior to the announcement of the federal mandate, the Missouri Chamber made national news for its “COVID Stops Here” initiative, a completely voluntary program that encourages employers to offer employees accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and recognizes workplaces vaccinated at certain percentage milestones.
“We need more Missourians to get vaccinated so that we can put this pandemic behind us for good,” said Mehan. “The Missouri Chamber will continue leading in this effort and we continue to strongly encourage all Missourians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Experts predict the federal mandate will be legally challenged. The Missouri Chamber will continue to closely monitor this issue and keep Missouri employers informed.