WASHINGTON (AP) — More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies with 100 or more workers, President Joe Biden’s most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day.
An obscure White House office is expected to give the green light any day to the rule’s fine print detailing how and when companies will have to require their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.
The full enforcement deadline, which could carry penalties of about $14,000 per violation, may not take effect until after the new year. That’s why Biden and his aides have for weeks encouraged businesses to act as though the rule was already in effect and start imposing vaccination requirements.
The regulation, to be published in the Federal Register, was drafted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under emergency authorities to protect worker safety and will cover an estimated 80 million U.S. workers. The White House sees it as a potent tool to winnow down the ranks of roughly 65 million Americans who have thus far refused to get a shot.
Unlike healthcare providers or federal employees, who may not have a testing alternative to vaccination, private-sector workers won’t necessarily face termination if they don’t get vaccinated. But some businesses may choose to impose their own more stringent vaccination mandate, and it’s possible that businesses may be allowed to… Continue Reading Full Story