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11/04/2021

White House Announces Details of Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

The rule covers 84 million employees who have until Jan. 4, 2022 to get their final vaccination dose.
COVID-19 vaccine card

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The clock is now ticking down to the implementation of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

On Nov. 4, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.

The OSHA emergency temporary standard (ETS) also requires that these employees receive paid time off to get vaccinated, and all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace.

The rule, according to a briefing from the White House, covers 84 million employees who have until Jan. 4, 2022 to get their final vaccination dose — either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson. The weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated employees kicks in after that date.

However, employers must be in compliance with all other requirements, such as providing paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and masking for unvaccinated workers, by Dec. 5.

"While vaccination remains the most effective and efficient defense against COVID-19, this emergency temporary standard will protect all workers, including those who remain unvaccinated, by requiring regular testing and the use of face coverings by unvaccinated workers to prevent the spread of the virus," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. "As part of OSHA's mission to protect the safety and health of workers, this rule will provide a roadmap to help businesses keep their workers safe."

For more details on the ETS, click here.