President Joe Biden’s new six-point plan to battle the spread of the coronavirus includes several strategies to reduce the number of Americans who are unvaccinated against COVID-19, which he said now stands at 80 million. On Thursday the White House announced all executive-branch employees would soon need to get COVID-19 shots or face regular testing and the same would apply to federal contractors. Workers at federally funded health care facilities are subject to a similar mandate and the government can withhold Medicaid and Medicare dollars if they don’t comply.
Biden also called for companies with more than 100 employees to require staff to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, with limited medical and religious exemptions. These large employers must also give workers paid time off to get their shots under the plan.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development said 4,646 businesses — with nearly 1.4 million workers — would be subject to the new mandate, NJBIZ reported. Companies that don’t comply could face fines of $14,000 for each violation under regulations to be drafted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.