White House Announces Sweeping Vaccine Mandate for Companies With Over 100 Workers

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 10, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a sweeping new plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations that cuts across both the public and private sectors. 

The president is toughening the existing vaccination rules for federal executive branch employees; whereas before, workers could decide, in lieu of vaccination, to be tested for COVID-19 regularly, this option no longer exists. Now, all federal workers will need to be vaccinated if they want to remain employed. This mandate also extends to entities that contract with the federal government. The White House believes this will affect 2.5 million people. 

More broadly, though, the president will also require any company with 100 or more employees to either mandate vaccination for their workers or require weekly testing for those who are not vaccinated. These same employers must also allow paid time off for people to both get vaccinated and recover from any side effects. The administration estimated that about 80 million people would fall under the scope of this requirement. Companies that do not comply will face a $14,000 penalty per violation, according to the Associated Press.

Further, there will also be a vaccination requirement for workers in most healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including, but not limited to, hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies. It is thought that over 17 million will be affected by this requirement. 

The White House also called on large entertainment venues such as stadiums and concert halls to require patrons to either be vaccinated or show negative teste results.  

Guidance and regulations from the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)  going over the particulars of these requirements is forthcoming. 

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