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New workplace vaccination rule takes effect Jan. 4

The OSHA rule was rolled out Thursday and involves a hefty fine for businesses who do not comply.
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Biden Administration rolled out a new COVID-19 workplace vaccination rule Thursday and millions of Americans may be affected.

Thursday, the Biden administration’s Department of Labor told the nation that a new vaccination rule impacting private employers with 100 or more employees will go into effect on January 4th.

The rule says employers need to ensure their unvaccinated employees present negative COVID tests weekly. The rule does not require business to pay for the tests.

For businesses that don’t comply, the rule says there’s a potential $14,000 fine for each violation.

In a Thursday morning statement, President Joe Biden said, “...The choice is simple: get more people vaccinated or prolong this pandemic and its impact on our country.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill are blasting the rule.

“To have someone lose their job or to fine them heavily or to fine an industry is exactly what we do not want need,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX).

On the Senate side, Republicans plan to force a vote formally challenging the rule.

“I don’t know how many Democrats will join us, but any Democrat that has paid even a little bit of attention to what’s going on in the last couple of days in this country, particularly in Virginia and New Jersey,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

A spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement, “The Chamber believes that the widespread vaccinations is the key to beating COVID, and we are proud of the work of the business community in the effort to help Americans get vaccinated. OSHA made some significant adjustments in the ETS that reflect concerns raised by the business community. The Chamber is focused on helping our members ensure that their employees are vaccinated and communicating to OSHA operational and implementation issues employers have with the requirements of the ETS.”

Attorneys General from more than a dozen states have also said they plan to challenge the rule in court.

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