US will make large firms give paid time off for vaccinations

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Companies with at least 100 employees must give employees paid time off to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and paid sick leave if they have side effects from the shots

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WASHINGTON — The federal government will require companies with at least 100 workers to be provided paid time off to vaccinate against COVID-19 and paid sick leave to recover from the effects of the shots. Yes, a Biden administration official said on Monday.

Those requirements will be part of a pending federal rule that will outline how large employers will meet the requirement that workers be routinely vaccinated or tested for the virus.

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The White House Budget Office has completed a review of a rule being written by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is expected to be released this week.

The rule – issued under emergency standards to respond to the pandemic – will cover firms with 100 or more employees, regardless of how many are located in a particular location.

“Covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy that requires employees to be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and face a face-off at work. Covering is required,” a Labor Department spokesman said Monday. The rule also requires “employers to provide paid time off for vaccinations and paid sick leave to workers to recover from any side effects.”

The official said the Office of Management and Budget completed a review of the OSHA rule on Monday, and the rule will be published in the Federal Register “in the coming days.”

The spokesperson declined to provide further details, saying the administration will “provide further updates as we have more information.”

Separately, the administration will give federal contractors broad authority to deal with employees who refuse vaccinations, according to guidelines released Monday by the White House.

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