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What employees and employers can expect from federal vaccine mandate

Posted at 7:13 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 08:49:34-04

TULSA, Okla. — January 4 is the deadline for tens of millions of Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, get tested weekly, or face the consequences.

Companies with 100 or more employees now need to come up with a written policy before that Jan. 4 deadline. Companies will not only need to inform their employees of the federal vaccine mandate, but they also need to prepare to inspect proof of vaccination or get enough testing supplies for those who forgo the vaccine.

However, testing may not be an option for Medicare and Medicaid certified healthcare workers. The American Healthcare Association says they are concerned about losing employees who don’t want to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the HR Policy Association is hoping for help from the government when it comes to implementing the new policy. Employers could face up to a 14,000 dollar fine per violation from OSHA if they don’t comply.

"We're going to be probably seeing more of a focus on high-risk industries like meatpacking manufacturing, densely populated workplaces where there's less ventilation and a more dense population of employees working in close proximity to one another. Or if there are outbreaks that go unchecked that would certainly put an employer on the radar,” labor and employment attorney, Laura Lawless said.

Workers who don't comply with testing or vaccination and don't have an exemption can be fired. Lawless also says the chances of being eligible for unemployment in this scenario are low because a “workplace safety rule” would be violated.

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