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The U.S. Government Sets January 4 as Deadline for Employer Vaccine Mandates

On Thursday, Nov. 4, the Biden administration implemented a new emergency standard for businesses having more than 100 employees. It mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for all workers by January 4 or conducting weekly tests to ensure workplace safety. 

The United States has been one of the worst victims of COVID-19 ever since it breached all geographical barriers in March 2020. The virus spread at an unprecedented rate, wreaking havoc on both human life and the economy.  The Federal Government had no other option but to impose a nationwide lockdown and come up with a mass inoculation program to curb the spread of the deadly virus. This compelled many businesses to opt for remote work. 

As life is resuming towards normalcy due to aggressive vaccination programs, companies are gradually opening up. Judging by this trend, the Biden administration has laid down employer vaccine mandates for private enterprises with more than 100 employees.

What does the new vaccine mandate imply for private employers? 

The Biden administration’s new COVID-19 Action Plan, titled “The Path Out of the Pandemic”, aims to ensure workplace safety. Here’s what it implies for enterprises with more than 100 employees:

  • Businesses with over 100 employees must ensure that their entire workforce is vaccinated before Jan. 4.

  • Healthcare companies that are receiving Medicare or Medicaid must also get vaccinated before Jan. 4.
  • Businesses must make wearing masks mandatory by Dec. 4.
  • Companies must provide paid time off for vaccinations and sick leave to those complaining of having symptoms.
  • Companies with less than 100 employees are exempted, but the comment period is in effect.

  • The rule is not applicable for remote and outdoor workers.
  • The rule will come into effect as soon as it’s published in the Federal Register.

According to the Federal Government, the new rule is expected to cover more than 84 million workers throughout the nation, out of which 31 million are still unvaccinated. The covid vaccine mandate also instructs employers to instruct uninoculated employees to wear masks at all times and ensure personal and other workers’ safety at workplaces by December 5.

The employer has the right to ask the vaccinated workers to produce a vaccination card or proof from a medical provider as a record of truth. Failing, the employees can produce a signed note stating that they have been vaccinated. OSHA states that exceptions are allowed only on medical and religious grounds. 

The Biden administration also said that workers rendering their services in the Medicare and Medicaid government healthcare programs must also get themselves vaccinated within the mentioned date. According to a study by OSHA, around 31.7 million workers are unvaccinated, and 60% of employers will need vaccinations. It’s a decent rise of about 25%, resulting in 22.7 million employees getting vaccinated. 

Any employer failing to abide by the employer vaccine mandates laid down by the Federal Government may face a whopping  $14,000 penalty per employee. The administration will also take into account the employees working in different geographies. The penalty can even be ten times the amount if OSHA finds out that the violation is willful and the business is a repeated offender. 

OSHA can ensure the implementation of the employer vaccine mandates by targeting inspections at high-risk industries or conducting frequent inspections at workplaces in response to complaints or newspaper reports concerning unsafe conditions. The employer must inform OSHA about the total employee strength and percentage of fully vaccinated workers, which the agency believes will help the business remain compliant. 

How Leena AI can help you follow the vaccination mandate?

Leena AI is dedicated to helping you enforce vaccine mandates by seamlessly tracking the vaccination status of all your employees on a single platform. It swiftly collects, tracks, and securely stores your workforce’s vaccination records and informs the concerned authorities whenever there’s a red flag. 

The intelligent platform also lets you conduct surveys to analyze the readiness of your employees to return to their workplaces or work remotely. The data-backed insights and intuitive dashboards help you track every employee’s health and vaccination status on the go. 

LeenaAI covid response suite

Here’s what you stand to gain: 

Data-Driven Insights 

A data-driven decision helps you take the right actions in real-time. With Leena AI, you can track the vaccination status of your entire organization and identify employees exposed to high risks. You can also address the safety concerns with data at your disposal and curb the spread of the virus. 

Analytical Dashboards

The intuitive dashboard has all the details you may need to track the infection rate in your organization and the vaccination status in real-time. You can seamlessly measure workforce immunity using a simple, easy-to-use dashboard. 

24/7 Employee Support 

Ensuring employee’s physical and mental well-being is the need of the hour during these challenging times. Leena AI helps you stay connected 24/7 with every member of your organization through a smart assistant. 

Eager to know more about how Leena can help you remain compliant with the new employer vaccine mandates? Explore our Covid-19 workplace response suite and schedule a live demo today! 

Leena AI covid-19 suite _ vaccination status
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Frequently Asked Questions 

Which employers are covered by OSHA’s rule?

Companies with more than 100 employees must ensure that their entire workforce has received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 4, or submit weekly reports of coronavirus tests of each of the employees. The new rule also mandates employers to instruct the employees to wear masks at their workplace by Dec. 4. The healthcare providers are covered by a different OSHA rule that government contractors and Medicare and Medicaid providers must comply with. 

How long will OSHA’s rule be in Effect?

OSHA is of the view that the emergency temporary standard will be applicable for six months, but there are chances for extension or be made permanent. The agency is constantly monitoring Covid infections vs. Deaths, as well as the mass vaccination rate. 

Do part-timers and contractors count toward the 100-worker threshold?

All employees, even those working part-time or remotely, count toward the threshold. Independent contractors don’t make up the count. Employees who work part of the time in the office and the rest of the time remotely must also get themselves vaccinated. 

Will the Vaccine-or-test requirements apply to remote workers and those who work outside?

Teleworkers and people who mainly work outdoors and report to workplaces without other people are exempted from the new rule because it’s entirely focused on preventing the spread of the virus at workplaces. 

Is it legal for employers to require vaccines without giving workers an option to instead submit to testing?

Unless the workers are exempted on specified grounds, employers have the right to mandate vaccines without providing testing as an option. 

How can I track the vaccination status in my company?

Leena AI is a one-stop solution that can help you seamlessly track the vaccination status within your organization. The smart COVID response suite provides all the information, starting from the workforce strength to the details of employees who received only the first jab or are fully vaccinated. 

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