Biden Administration sets a January 4 vaccination deadline for 84M private sector workers

November 5, 2021

The Biden Administration said on Thursday, November 4, that large companies have until January 4 to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated under a sweeping new coronavirus health measure that will cover 84 million private sector wage earners, The New York Times reports.

The plan was first announced in September by President Joe Biden, who directed the Labor Department to invoke its emergency powers over the safety of workplaces to require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations for all employees. Workers who refuse to get vaccinated must undergo weekly testing.

Also on Thursday, the administration unveiled new emergency regulations for healthcare workers—including those at nursing homes caring for elderly and sick residents who are at high risk for infection. All 17 million workers at healthcare facilities receiving either Medicare or Medicaid funding must be vaccinated by January 4.

Biden previously had imposed vaccine requirements on federal workers and companies that receive federal contracts.

But the new rule covering employees of all large private businesses is a more dramatic use of his executive power, prompting some state officials to criticize the move and threaten to try to stop it.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group that represents American retailers, including major chains; said on Thursday that a vaccine mandate from the Biden administration for large private employers would “impose burdensome new requirements on retailers during the crucial holiday shopping season.”

“Retailers have consistently requested that the administration take public comment on this new vaccine mandate,” David French, the group’s senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement. “It is critical that the rule not cause unnecessary disruption to the economy, exacerbate the pre-existing work force shortage, or saddle retailers; who are already taking considerable steps to keep their employees and customers safe, with needless additional requirements and regulatory burdens.”

Research contact: @nytimes

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