Today, President Biden is expected to announce that all civilian federal employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be forced to submit to regular testing, social distancing, masking requirements and restrictions on most travel. Earlier this week, U.S. Department of Justice lawyers issued their opinion that federal law doesn't prohibit public agencies and private businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccines – even if the vaccines have only emergency use authorization.
Meanwhile, as the Delta variant continues to drive a rapid surge in new COVID-19 cases, major businesses, trade organizations and local governments have announced new plans to mandate vaccines for workers. Here’s a recap of this week’s developments:
To help businesses navigate changing public health guidance, surging rates of new COVID-19 infection and partially vaccinated workforces, Health Action Alliance and National Safety Council experts have developed a Decision Tool For Employers. This interactive online resource is designed to help executives, human resource managers and operational leaders navigate the health, legal and other considerations that can inform their vaccination policy and other workplace safety decisions.
The Decision Tool was developed using public health recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), safety guidance offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), legal considerations established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and additional recommendations based upon conversations with employers and employee polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
All employers are encouraged to develop a COVID-19 response plan and continue to evaluate and update that plan as the pandemic and federal, state and local guidance evolves.
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