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Federal Vaccine Mandate
Deadline: January 4th
OSHA will be enforcing Covid vaccine mandates nationwide starting in early January.
Here’s what you need to know:
The mandate will be for companies with over 100 employees.
Companies need to offer paid time off to get vaccinated and sick leave for dealing with side-effects, if needed.
Companies don’t need to pay for Covid testing for unvaxxed employees—they will have to pay for their testing themselves.
Any unvaxxed employees must wear masks on-site.
Most people will be relieved to see this go into effect. Mandates work, and we’re all pretty sick of this $%#@ pandemic. This is expected to hold up to legal challenges, since the mandate will protect US workers at their jobs, which is what OSHA is designed to do. It’s happening.
As leaders, we can look at this as an opportunity to get our companies back to some version of “normal.” It will be safer for parents of young children (infants and preschoolers still can’t get vaccinated) to come to in-person office events. We can have in-person meetings and events safely again. And we don’t have to be the “bad guy” who is “forcing” someone to get vaccinated to work in-person—most people understand that your firm does not want to pay a $14,000 OSHA fine because one guy wants the “freedom” to spread a potentially deadly virus in your office. Full vaccination makes our workplaces safer.
Some people are concerned about retention issues here. If possible, you might choose to offer any employee who is unwilling or unable to get vaccinated a remote option. But there is a freedom that will come with the “herd immunity” that will exist in January, and we can look forward to enjoying more of the in-person aspects of work and life once we are all protected.