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Federal Mandate for COVID Vaccinations Targets Government Contractors Among Others

President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are developing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would require companies that employ more than 100 workers to ensure their employees are either fully vaccinated or test negative each week if unvaccinated in order to come into work spaces, according to a White House statement.

Contractor's doing business with the federal government also are being affected. Biden signed an executive order on Thursday that mandates federal executive branch and government contract workers must get vaccinated. "We will review the new OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard when it is released to ensure that it will be effective in improving the health and safety of the construction workforce and that it does not impose unreasonable new burdens on employers," Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), told Construction Dive. The AGC has partnered with other organizations in recent months to advocate for the vaccine and urge construction workers to get the shot.

"To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination," according to the White House statement. "This requirement will be implemented through the ETS."

—Bryan Mason, editorial associate
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Saturday, 23 October 2021