By Mark Carey
Similar to a declaration of war, President Biden today announced that all federal employees, federal contractors, all healthcare workers and employers with over a 100 employees must get vaccinated. This is unprecedented and likely to cause a great deal of chaos among employees nationwide. Typically, vaccination requirements were left to the states to decide if, how and when to implement vaccination orders. The Executive Order comes at a time when the Delta Variant is wreaking havoc on the unvaccinated population and Biden’s approval rating regarding Covid-19 is very low.
Now, with just one Executive Order to the U.S. Department of Labor, the battle is on. The DOL can now institute enforcement actions and levy fines up to $14,000 per violation. As we already know, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance to employers that they can mandate vaccination without threat of lawsuits by employees.
What does this mean for you if you have not received a Covid-19 vaccination? You must either assert a medical disability accommodation to your employer to avoid the vaccine or be fired. You must also assert a religious exemption to the vaccination or be fired. Yes, this also means that employment attorneys will be very busy fielding endless telephone inquiries about this issue.