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What Employers Need to Know about the Federal Vaccine Plan

At the beginning of September, President Biden announced that he would be rolling out a series of executive orders to promote increased vaccination rates in the American workforce. Those orders have arrived: here’s what employers need to know.

Companies with over 100 employees are required to vaccinate or test. Issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this rule requires employers with more than 100 employees to implement policies that mandate workers to either be fully vaccinated by January 4th, 2022 or test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week. Employers who choose to allow for a testing option are not required to pay for or provide the testing themselves. They are, however, required to provide paid time off for vaccination appointments and sick leave for recovery from side effects.

Healthcare plays by different rules. While most employers can allow for a regular testing option, healthcare providers that receive funding from Medicare and Medicaid are required to mandate the vaccine for their employees. This rule applies to both clinical and non-clinical employees.

Masks are required for unvaccinated workers. While working, employees who have not been fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings.

Companies must enforce these rules themselves. Responsibility for compliance with the OSHA rule falls on the companies to which it applies. Serious violations could incur fines of up to $13,653—willful and repeated violations would cost ten times that.

For help understanding how these new orders apply to your workplace and how to implement the required policies, contact your McBrayer attorney today.

Cindy EffingerCynthia L. Effinger, Member with McBrayer, is located in the firm’s Louisville office. Ms. Effinger’s practice is concentrated in the areas of employment law and commercial litigation. Her employment law practice is focused on drafting employment manuals and policies, social media, wage and hour, non-compete agreements and workplace discrimination. Ms. Effinger can be reached at ceffinger@mcbrayerfirm.com or (502) 327-5400, ext. 2316.

Claire VujanovicClaire M. Vujanovic, member with McBrayer, is located in the firm's Louisville office.  Ms. Vujanovic's practice is concentrated in the areas of labor and employment law and includes NLRA compliance, drafting and reviewing employment manuals and policies, drafting severance, non-compete and employment agreements, and counseling clients related to overtime and wage and hour regulations, laws and claims and workplace discrimination.  Ms. Vujanovic can be reached at cvujanovic@mcbrayerfirm.com or (502) 327-5400, ext. 2322.  

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