In mid-September 2021, US President Joe Biden announced that all employers with more than 100 workers will be forced to require coronavirus vaccinations or test employees weekly.
The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the coming weeks plans to issue an emergency temporary standard implementing the new requirement. Businesses that don’t comply can face fines of up to USD14 000 per violation.
In addition, President Biden has issued an Executive Order directing that all federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government to be vaccinated to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers.
Increasing Testing & Requiring Masking
Continuing to require masking for interstate travel and double fines, President Biden’s Executive Order, Promoting Covid-19 Safety in domestic and international travel, directed applicable agencies to take action to require mask-wearing in airports and on certain modes of public transportation, including on many airplanes, trains, maritime vessels, and intercity bus services.
TSA has extended its implementing orders for air and ground travel through January 18th, 2022, and the President’s plan will double fines for those who are not in compliance. The President’s plan will also ensure that masking requirements remain in place on the other modes of transportation.
Protecting Economic Recovery
The US President’s plan will strengthen the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides long-term, low-cost loans. The improvements will allow more business to get greater and more flexible support from the USD150-billion in loanable funds still available in the program.
First, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will increase the maximum amount of funding a small business can borrow through this program from USD500 000 to USD2-million, which can be used to hire and retain employees, purchase inventory and equipment, and pay off higher-interest debt.
The full statement and plan can be accessed here.