Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Extends to Corporate America

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

100

That’s how many employees your company must have in order to be covered by a sweeping new vaccine mandate announced by the White House Thursday.

Outlining a far-reaching set of initiatives aimed at stamping out COVID-19, the administration of President Joe Biden said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees to do one of two things: ensure their workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or require them to produce a negative test result at least weekly. The requirements would affect more than 80 million people who work for businesses of at least that size, the White House estimated.

“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers,” Biden said at a press conference. “This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”

Since vaccines became widely available, employers have tried various tactics to get their workforces inoculated, including adding health insurance penalties. Workers who are fired for violating a vaccine mandate would generally be considered ineligible to collect unemployment benefits, since such benefits are reserved for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, according to employment lawyers cited by the Society for Human Resource Management. (Unless the worker was exempt from the policy for medical or religious reasons.)

The White House didn’t immediately give details on the OSHA rule or say when it would go into effect. In addition, vaccines will now be mandatory for federal workers, contractors, and healthcare facilities that accept federal funds. Over 17 million health care workers alone will be required to get vaccinated.