(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wears an anti-vaccine button as people and teachers protest against New York City mandated vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the United States Court in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 12,
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday submitted to the White House the initial text of President Joe Biden’s plan to require private-sector workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or get tested regularly.
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 Reuters. The move indicates the proposed standard could be released soon.
The mandate would apply to businesses with 100 or more employees and will be implemented under a federal rule-making mechanism known as an emergency temporary standard. It would affect roughly 80 million workers nationwide.
Along with Biden’s order last month that requires all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, the orders cover 100 million people, about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.
Biden’s mandate announcement in September came at a breaking-point moment as the country struggled to control the pandemic and a large swath of the nation’s population refused to accept free vaccinations that have been available for months. The coronavirus has killed more than 700,000 Americans.
The workplace vaccine order has spurred pushback from many 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 drawn mixed reactions from companies. Many support the government’s goal of speeding the pace of vaccinations, but smaller employers and those with mostly hourly workers have expressed concern the policy could be difficult to implement.
U.S. Labor Department submits initial text of Biden’s vaccine mandate to the White House
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