A Roundtable Discussion on Vaccine/Testing Mandates From the Biden Administration
On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced a new strategy to combat COVID-19, the “Path Out of the Pandemic: President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan.” This plan includes new COVID-19 safety mandates for private sector employers that had previously only applied to federal employees and federal government contractors. The new plan requires all employers with 100+ employees to ensure that their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly. Unvaccinated workers will be required to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. The mandate will be implemented and enforced through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the agency is expected to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).
This new mandate raises many issues for employers, both legal and practical. We anticipate that many of these issues will be addressed by OSHA when it issues the ETS to implement the new mandate. In the meantime, employers should start planning and preparing for the roll-out so that they can ensure timely compliance.
Please join White and Williams for a roundtable discussion, which covers a number of topics related to the new vaccine/testing mandate, with a focus on how employers can best prepare for compliance.
Key topics include:
- The laws likely to be applied and examination of how OSHA will implement the executive order
- Potential pitfalls of such programs
- Who will be covered by the new mandate?
- Practical issues regarding testing unvaccinated workers
- Special rules for federal employees and contractors
- Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers
- Anticipated legal challenges, including religion-based objections