The White House has just released new policies requiring all companies - big and small - to coerce their workers into accepting the vaccine, or face termination, as the Biden Administration continues to up the pressure on all working Americans to get vaccinated before Jan. 4.
According to Axios, President Biden is planning to announce Thursday that employers with more than 100 workers on their payroll must guarantee that their workers are fully vaccinated, or tested weekly, by Jan. 4, 2022. If not, they could face federal fines starting at tens of thousands of dollars per offense.
What's more, health-care workers will face even tougher restrictions which will effectively require every health-care worker in the country to be vaccinated, or lose their job, despite the fact that millions of health-care workers have already been infected with the virus by natural means.
To be sure, managing weekly testing programs for a minority of corporate employees will be extremely costly, and the ramifications of this new policy will essentially force employees for the biggest companies in the US to accept the vaccine.
Per Axios, the new rules - formally known as the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard - will be enforced by OSHA. They will affect roughly two-thirds of America's workforce, or roughly 80MM people. Many businesses and hospitals have already started to enforce vaccine mandates, and while Axios reports that they have seen "minimal" noncompliance, that doesn't exactly square with the fact that less than 60% of the American population is fully vaccinated.
While corporations might be able to absorb some of these costs, small businesses will likely be left with some difficult decisions to make. However, there's one important catch: OSHA will mostly rely on "complaints" to enforce the rule, meaning it will be up to American workers whether or not they want to hold their fellow workers accountable for defying the policy. This incentive to snitch out co-workers and neighbors has already elicited criticism from some, including Conservative Radio host Dan Bongino, who has pushed back against vaccine mandates in favor of bodily autonomy.
The strict mandate for health-care workers is already creating some problems because, while 40% of health-care businesses have purportedly already enforced the policy, the supposedly "minimal" level of noncompliance is reportedly exacerbating worker shortages at hospitals and other critical service providers.
In another indication of how companies are struggling with the mandate, some federal contractors had been expected to enforce the Biden Admin's vaccine mandate by Dec. 8, but those expectations have now been pushed back to Jan. 4. When asked whether the pushback was due to worker shortages, or the timing of the holiday season, they refused to comment, saying only that the delay is meant to "align" with health-care facilities and US employers.
Perhaps President Biden (and VP/President-in-waiting Kamala Harris) have already forgotten the lessons of Tuesday's "off-year" election?