The Covid-19 pandemic is an evolving threat that poses a danger to people’s lives. Governments have come up with different vaccine mandate policies to curb the spread of the virus. One of which was the introduction of Biden’s government to mandate vaccination and save the lives of the masses.
The Biden Vaccine Mandate, however, garnered mixed reactions from people. This guide discusses the employer and health worker mandates and how they potentially affect businesses.
What is the Biden Vaccine Mandate?
Since Biden took office, the number of vaccinated people in the US rose from less than one to seventy percent (more than seventy percent of vaccinated populations are needed to achieve herd immunity).
In 2021, Biden’s administration issued a Covid vaccination mandate. The Biden Vaccine Mandate required all businesses with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated.
Alternatively, all unvaccinated workers are required to wear a mask while working; they also need to submit a Covid-19 test weekly. The mandate would target more than 84 million Americans.
The directive also required that all health workers working in the Medicare and Medicaid centers get vaccinated— this targeted about 17 million employees.
The Biden Vaccine Mandate gave the targeted businesses an ultimatum to comply by January 4th, 2022.
How Businesses and Employees Reacted to the Mandate
As expected, businesses had mixed reactions to the ETS mandate. Some organizations supported the regulations, while others worried about related costs. For example, the directive indicated that employers needed to give paid leaves to workers who take vaccinations so they could recover from side effects.
At the time the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the directive, it was unclear who would bear the cost of vaccination and testing. Most companies claimed that the move would lead to the largest worker shortages and supply chain disruptions ever witnessed in history. However, some leading companies in the US, such as McDonald’s and Disney, implemented the directive by ensuring all the employees got the jab. Similarly, other large and middle-sized companies followed suit to ensure compliance.
Other business owners wanted the mandate to provide transparency regarding the OSHA’s role in vaccination reports and test certificates. Is it an implication that OSHA will permanently audit businesses for future compliances? Would non-compliance lead to legal charges? These drastic changes needed answers.
Some businesses want the employees vaccinated as it is the only way to reduce absenteeism from workers getting Covid-19 infections. However, companies want to impose their measures without federal interference.
The Court Puts on Hold the Vaccination Mandate
On November 10th, 2021, fuel retailers and convenience store owners filed a lawsuit in the Court of Appeals. The lawsuit cited that the businesses were already facing labor shortages and supply chain bottlenecks, and the mandate would only worsen the situation.
Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate Resolution
In January 2022, the Supreme Court banned the mandatory vaccination of employees in large-sized companies. The court claimed that OSHA overstepped its authority through forceful vaccinations and regular testing.
However, the court ruled in favor of having the health workers in the Medicare and Medicaid facilities getting vaccinated. The court argued that it’s only sensible to have the people in health and safety trenches to get vaccinated.
Can a Company Mandate Covid-19 Vaccine?
Yes, a company is at liberty to issue its regulations regarding the vaccination of workers. Employees who disagree with mandates issued by companies are free to seek employment elsewhere.
Covid-19 has claimed so many lives since its onset. The Biden Vaccine Mandate sought to have most Americans vaccinated through the Covid mandate for businesses. However, the courts rejected the regulation as they felt it infringes on people’s freedom.
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