On Thursday, press call.administration released details about its new vaccination rule for large employers, setting a Jan. 4, 2022, deadline for . must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly. The rule, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will enforce, will apply mainly to private employers with 100 or more workers company-wide. The will cover 84 million workers. Employers must provide off for workers to get their shots. Jim Frederick, deputy assistant , said Thursday that the U.S. had but still had work to do. “There are still so many workers who are not protected and remain at risk of being seriously ill or dying from COVID-19,” he said on a
The new rule technically goes into effect on Friday, but it will be 30 days before specific provisions begin, includingin the workplace. After 60 days, workers must show their . The rule, known as a temporary emergency standard, has been in the works for months. But OSHA they wanted to give employers more time to prepare, hence the Jan. 4 deadline. Seema Nanda, the Labor Department’s solicitor, said the administration believed it was on sound legal grounds for issuing the rule. It will apply anywhere OSHA has jurisdiction, and states that run their occupational safety and health programs must implement a standard equally as strong. Many Republican states have vowed to fight the rule in courts.
“The Occupational Safety andto act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds workers are subjected to a grave danger, and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” Nanda said. Citing the roughly 750,000 in the U.S., Nanda said hazard that poses a grave danger to workers.” Although the rule applies mainly to the private sector, where OSHA has jurisdiction. Asked why the administration limited the rule’s applicability to firms with 100 workers, Frederick said they felt large employers would have the administrative capacity tto implement it quickly.
“It will reach all the largest workplaces where the worst outbreaks have occurred,” he said. However, Nanda noted that the rule is going through aperiod during which the public can weigh in. She said the administration would consider broadening the law to cover small employers. Employers will not be required to cover the costs of . Frederick said the rule “does not preclude employers” from taking disciplinary action when workers are not vaccinated or provide proof of a negative .
The rollout of the vaccine rule drew praise from Democrats and criticism from Republicans. Rep. Virginia Foxx (N.C.), a ranking Republican on the House Committee on Education and Labor, called the emergency rule “egregious.” “Biden wants theto control every aspect of American workers’ and business owners’ lives,” she said in a statement. But Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, called the rule “common sense.” “This workplace safety standard is an essential step toward helping workers stay safe on the job, putting us on the path to ending this , and keeping our economic recovery on track,” Murray said.