Oct. 13, 2021 -- The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employers moved a step closer to enforcement on Tuesday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration completed the first draft of the order and submitted it to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, according to The Associated Press.

OSHA falls under the Department of the Labor, which confirmed the move on Tuesday.

“[OSHA] has been working expeditiously to develop an emergency temporary standard that covers employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing to protect employees from the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace,” a Labor Department spokesman told CNN.

The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will conduct a “standard review” of the regulation, the AP reported. The agency has 90 days to review the rule or send it back to OSHA for revision. Officials didn’t provide a timeline for the review process.

The text of the proposed order won’t be available until the review is completed, according to the AP.

Once the OMB completes the review, the text will be published in the Federal Register, which is when the order will go into effect, CNN reported.

President Joe Biden announced the vaccine mandate last month. With the review process underway, he has encouraged businesses to put their own mandates in place before the rule is finalized and enforced.

The order will require large employers to give their workers paid time off to get vaccinated, according to CNN. . If businesses don’t comply, the federal government will “take enforcement actions,” which could include fines up to nearly $14,000 per violation.

The standard is considered a “minimum,” and some companies may choose to take it further, such as mandating the vaccine and not offering a testing alternative, CNN reported. Some major companies have already announced plans to require vaccination and have set strict limits on exemptions.

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

The Associated Press: “Biden vaccine order moves closer to enforcement.”

CNN: “OSHA submits vaccine rule to the Office of Management and Budget, jump-starting review process.”

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