On Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden announced that the USDOL is developing an emergency rule mandating that all employers with 100 or more employees require their employee population to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested on a weekly basis. Failure to comply with the yet-to-be-released rule could result in a $14,000 fine per violation. This will impact approximately 80 million employees across the US. In addition, Biden’s plan requires full COVID vaccination for employees at nursing homes, hospitals, home healthcare providers and other healthcare facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding. This impacts roughly 17 million healthcare workers. In an Executive Order, all executive branch employees and contractors who do business with the federal government must be vaccinated for COVID-19 with no option to test out. Altogether, this plan would cover two-thirds of all workers in the US or roughly 100 million Americans.
The details of the emergency rule are not yet available, and we do not yet have any specifics on whether an employee would be eligible for benefits if they decide not to comply with any company COVID-19 vaccine policies or federal mandates. Our assumption will be that benefits will not be awarded in these cases. In an effort to track these cases, we are in the process of adding new separation codes to our system that can be used when your employees quit or are discharged for violating vaccine policies. As soon as these new codes are available, we will send out an update on the specifics of these new codes.
We will be closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation for updates. It is possible that there will be actions taken in the court systems across the US to block these mandates which could complicate the situation. As any new information is received, we will update you on the situation and what actions you need to take.