President Biden’s recently announced that all healthcare workers, and employees at companies with over 100 employees must implement vaccine mandates. This announcement has some employers “scrambling,” according to James P. Reidy, an attorney with Sheehan Phinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. They’re asking how the 100-employee threshold is defined, what industries are included, and when the new rule will be effective.
Reidy’s advice to employers: “Stay tuned! Like the virus, the law, regulations, and guidance continue to evolve.” He says he expects more information in the next week or so, but in the meantime, he’s telling employers with 100 or more employees to:
- Survey how many employees are vaccinated;
- Review whether a vaccine mandate or weekly testing of the unvaccinated makes more sense for the workforce;
- Make sure COVID-19 screening and safety policies are up to date with current guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA, and state law requirements;
- Understand the process for medical and religious exemptions outlined in guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); and
- Consider the disruption and cost of an OSHA audit.