WASHINGTON — U.S. automakers and the UAW are reviewing a plan unveiled Thursday by the Biden administration that would require large companies to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees or have them undergo weekly testing.
Under the plan, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will issue an emergency temporary standard that requires all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their work force is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated workers to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis. The regulation also would require paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
The approach — part of a six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans — is expected to take effect in the coming weeks, according to Bloomberg. Employers failing to implement the requirements could face fines of nearly $14,000 per violation, the report said.
"The bottom line: We're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We're going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the work force that is vaccinated in businesses all across America," President Joe Biden said in remarks Thursday.
Nearly three-quarters of eligible Americans have received at least one shot, but one quarter — about 80 million people — have yet to get one, according to the White House.
"That 25 percent can cause a lot of damage — and they are," Biden said.