News ​​Federal appeals court reinstates COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employers with 100+ employees

A federal appeals court reinstated the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees today, reversing a previous court-issued stay.

The mandate was previously slated to go into effect on Jan. 4, however the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) said that it would not issue vaccine or testing citations before Jan. 10 or Feb. 9, respectively, in order to provide companies with time to implement the requirements.

The mandate will require companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have unvaccinated workers produce weekly negative test results. Organizations that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

OSHA will also require businesses to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccines and sick leave to recover from side effects that prevent them from working. Employers will not be required to pay for testing.

Overall, the requirements will apply over 84 million workers across the country.

President Joe Biden first ordered sweeping federal vaccine requirements in order to rein in the then-surging delta variant and to curb vaccine resistance across the country. Today’s announcement comes as the omicron variant is emerging across the globe and worries in the U.S. mount over a surge in cases amid the holiday season.

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