In a speech on Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a six-part plan aimed at combating the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, consisting of the following components:
- Vaccinating the Unvaccinated
- Further Protecting the Vaccinated
- Keeping Schools Safely Open
- Increasing Testing and Requiring Masking
- Protecting Our Economic Recovery
- Improving Care for Those with COVID-19
The Vaccinating the Unvaccinated component includes vaccine mandates for three categories of workers:
- Employers with 100+ employees: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will promulgate an “emergency temporary standard” to implement a requirement at all employers with 100 or more employees that their employees get the vaccine or produce a weekly negative test before reporting for work. OSHA will also be developing a rule that requires employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
- Federal Workers and Contractors Who Do Business with the Federal Government: The President issued two executive orders related to the federal government: (1) an executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees and (2) an executive order requiring agencies to ensure that contracts incorporate a clause that specifies that the contractor must comply with workplace safety guidance to be published by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.
- Health Care Workers and Medicare- and Medicaid-Participating Health Care Settings: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is “taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies.”