President Biden tasks OSHA with vaccine mandate
This rule will tell employers You have to take steps to make sure potentially infectious workers dont come into the workplace. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 650,000 Americans.
- United States
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't often make many headlines. Now the Labor Department agency has been tossed into the national debate over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. President Joe Biden directed OSHA to write a rule forcing employers with at least 100 workers to require staff get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus-free. When Congress created OSHA 50 years ago to police workplace safety, 38 workers were dying on the job every day. Now that figure is closer to 15 — even though the American workforce has more than doubled. OSHA writes rules designed to protect workers from dangers such as toxic chemicals, rickety scaffolding and cave-ins at construction sites.
“The hazard in this case is the infectious worker,” says epidemiologist David Michaels, OSHA director in the Obama administration. “This rule will tell employers: You have to take steps to make sure potentially infectious workers don't come into the workplace.” The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 650,000 Americans. The rule will take effect in 29 states where OSHA has jurisdiction, according to a primer by the law firm Fisher Phillips. Other states such as California and North Carolina, with their own federally approved workplace safety agencies, will have up to 30 days to adopt equivalent measures.
“Most employers in my view should greet this with relief,” says Celine McNicholas, former special counsel at the National Labor Relations Board. “This gives them a roadmap of exactly what they need to do.”
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)