U.S. Labor Department submits initial text of Biden’s vaccine mandate to the White House

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WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – The US Labor Department on Tuesday presented to the White House the preliminary text of President Joe Biden’s plan to require private sector workers to be vaccinated or routinely tested against COVID-19 .

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The Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration submitted the proposed rule for review. Some details could change, a source familiar with the matter told Businesshala. This move indicates that the proposed standard may be released soon.

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The mandate will apply to businesses with 100 or more employees and will be enforced under a federal rule-making mechanism known as the Emergency Temporary Standard. It will affect around 80 million workers across the country.

With Biden’s order last month requiring all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, the order covers 100 million people, about two-thirds of the US workforce.

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Biden’s mandate was announced in September at a crucial moment as the country struggled to control the pandemic and a large swath of the country’s population refused to accept the free vaccinations available for months. The coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 Americans.

The workplace vaccine order has drawn backlash from several Republican governors. On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, issued an executive order banning businesses and other private entities in his state from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.

The plan has also received mixed response from companies. Many support the government’s goal of accelerating the pace of vaccination, but smaller employers and those with mostly hourly workers have expressed concerns that the policy may be difficult to implement.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington. Editing by Gary Doyle

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