Originally announced on Sept. 9 and temporarily blocked by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Biden Administration vaccinate-or-test rule for large employers has been reinstated.
The mandate applies to employers with 100 or more employees firm-wide and is being overseen by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
While an appeal to the US Supreme Court has been filed to challenge this mandate, the mandate is still currently scheduled to go into effect on January 10. This means employers must come into compliance soon or risk large fines.
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 a statement when the mandate was announced. “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 choosing to get vaccinated remains critical to economic recovery.
Prior to the announcement of the federal mandate, the Missouri Chamber made national news for its successful “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.”
The Missouri Chamber urges employers to encourage their employees to get fully vaccinated and get their booster shots when applicable.