New Federal Vaccine Mandate May Impact More than 1/2 of NJ Workers

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President Biden announced Thursday 9/9 that employers with 100 or more employees will need to require either vaccination or weekly COVID testing from workers. This is in addition to all federal employees and staff of government contractors. The announcement is part of a 6 part plan to address the pandemic with the vaccination mandate an “emergency temporary standard” issued by the national Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The mandate will cover 2/3 of the US workforce, or 100 million US workers.

The plan also requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off to staff to get vaccinated and recover from the shot if they have side effects.

For NJ, this could mean more than half of NJ workers will fall under this mandate, as the New Jersey Business and Industry Association sites that businesses with over 500 workers make up half of NJ’s jobs.

If employees choose not to be vaccinated, they would have to pass a weekly COVID-19 test to come to work, and some employers are adding additional insurance deductions to cover testing costs.

While small businesses of under 100 people are not included in the mandate, in addition to government workers mandates are also in place for nursing homes that receive federal funds and federal Head Start programs.

OSHA is expected to issue when the mandate goes into effect within the next few weeks, with a timeline for implementation up to several months. Businesses that don’t comply with the mandate can face fines over $10,000.

Read more about the pandemic response plan on the White House page here.

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