Are You Ready to Comply with the COVID Vaccine Executive Order?
On September 9, 2021, President Biden passed an executive order requiring private businesses and government contractors to get vaccinated. The executive order details (effective date, accommodations for medical and religious exemptions, and more) have yet to be released. However, we know the basics about the order and how it will affect private businesses and government contractors.
Read on to learn more about the executive order and what you can do to prepare your business to implement the law once it is finalized.
Private Business COVID Vaccine Mandate
The COVID vaccine mandate sets specific rules for private businesses and government contractors. If you own or run a private business with 100 or more employees, you must require all employees to get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID screenings. The law provides exemptions for people with medical needs or deeply held religious beliefs.
Under the executive order, employers must pay for weekly testing for all employees who opt to test out of the vaccine. However, this fee may get passed on to employees. Additionally, the government will work to increase the availability of free and low-cost COVID home tests.
As of today, the executive order does not provide a date that all employees must become vaccinated.
Government Employees and Government Contractors Vaccine Mandate
The executive order provides a different stipulation for government employees and companies holding government contracts. These employees must all get vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption or deeply held religious belief. They do not have the option to submit to weekly COVID tests instead of receiving the vaccine.
As with private businesses, the mandate does not provide a date for employee compliance.
Additional Stipulations Under the COVID Vaccine Mandate
The executive order also expands on healthcare mandates already in place by CMS. Under the executive order, any employee working for a facility receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid must receive the COVID vaccine.
Furthermore, any employees working in an educational facility receiving any form of federal funding must get vaccinated.
Finally, employers must provide paid time off for their employees to comply with vaccination requirements.
As with the original mandates, the effective date has not been announced. In addition, all mandates include exceptions for medical needs and deeply held religious beliefs.
What Happens If Your Employees Do Not Comply with the Government COVID Mandate?
The Executive Order requires all employers with at least 100 employees to comply with these mandates. The law provides OSHA with authority to fine any business $14,000 per occurrence of any employee refusing to comply with the mandate.
Therefore, employers are financially accountable if they do not enforce the government Coronavirus vaccine mandate.
How Can Workplace HCM Help Ensure You Comply with the COVID vaccine Executive Order?
As of today, the executive order is the law. While many employers may look to challenge the law, you must prepare to comply until it is successfully challenged. One of the first things you can do is to update your employee policies and procedures to include rules relating to mandatory COVID vaccines. The policies should; include ideas for accommodations for employees with covered medical and religious exemptions.
Employers will also need to implement procedures for certifying vaccine or testing status. The entire process can be time-consuming if it is not handled properly.
Workplace HCM can help you update your policies and procedure regarding COVID vaccines. They can also help ensure you have the proper procedures to verify vaccine status and produce documentation as needed to the government upon any inspection or request for vaccination records.
To learn more about how Workplace HCM can help you comply with the law, call us at 856.334.9711 or contact us here with any questions.