Millions and millions of employees in the United States will soon be required to be vaccinated, or face regular testing, as per a new mandate was issued today, Thursday, November 4. Companies that fail to comply could face massive fines.

The new rules begin January 4

By the first Tuesday of the new year, Americans who work for companies that employ 100 or more people will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If they choose not to be vaccinated, they will need to get COVID tested weekly under these new government rules. They will also be required to wear a mask while in the workplace.

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This may seem like it's out of the blue, but these new requirements were first previewed by President Joe Biden in September. According to a KCRG article, under the rules, the roughly 84 million American workers employed by medium and large businesses will be on the hook to supply a negative test to go into work. However, it's not clear how many are unvaccinated, so it's hard to know exactly how many people this applies to.

Even more strict rules will apply to the 17 million people who work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid in the United States.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), companies that fail to comply with the regulations could potentially face a fine of about $14,000 for each violation.


There are still a number of questions about the mandate

It's hard to know how a mandate so sweeping will be enforced, but the KCRG report says OSHA will likely be looking for employee complaints as a way to determine what companies to pursue. Workers will be allowed to gain exceptions on religious and medical grounds.

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