The business community is waiting to hear more details on President Biden's new COVID vaccine mandate.
In a statement to 69 News, a Department of Labor spokesperson said - in part - “OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees. The agency is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination.”
A new analysis from Goldman Sachs says it will get 12 million more people vaccinated.
"While I get his frustration in terms of getting people vaccinated, mandates for independent business people is a tough one,” said Tony Iannelli, president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He's surprised how many people haven't gotten vaccinated. He thinks they should, but says a mandate may hurt businesses already struggling - especially that $14,000 fine that comes with it.
"You know the biggest issue is I need people – I can't find people – to sort of pile on and give that another reason isn't going to be helpful," Iannelli said.
We reached out to some of our larger employers for reaction, and they seem ready to comply.
In a statement, Olympus said, in part, to 69 News, “We are supportive of efforts to encourage widespread vaccination and other preventative measures to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Details of President Biden’s Executive Orders are still forthcoming, therefore, the full impact to our employees is being assessed as more information becomes available.”
PPL said, in part, “As case numbers rise due to the Delta variant in the regions we serve, we continue to encourage our workforce to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated. We’re aware of the new mandates and are preparing to comply with any resulting regulation that may be issued.”
B. Braun said the same: “We continue to encourage all our employees to get vaccinated. We will evaluate how the proposed OSHA rule on vaccination and testing of employees will affect our employees when it is available and will comply with all applicable laws/regulations.”
On Sunday, Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, argued it’s for the best: "A lot of businesses are actually relieved that these are going into place. And we've heard a lot of feedback from the business round table and others that this will help create safer workplaces."