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Covid US: Biden could fine firms up to $700,000 if they fail to mandate vaccines 


The Biden administration has included a vaccine enforcement mechanism in the $3.5 trillion, 2,465-page ‘Build Back Better Bill’ which will enable the government to enforce fines on employers whose employees do not get the vaccine.   

The mechanism, buried on page 168 of the Democrats’ ‘reconciliation’ spending bill, will allow a tenfold increase in fines for businesses with 100 or more employees that ‘wilfully and repeatedly,’ violate a section of labor law that deals with workplace hazards, of which Covid-19 is now a part.

The increased fines on employers could go as high as $70,000 for serious infractions, and $700,000 for wilful or repeated violations – a sum which can be applied to each instance of a violation rather than a total limit. 

If enacted into law, the fines could rapidly bankrupt companies whose employees are not vaccinated, in effect forcing businesses to comply with Biden’s inoculation drive. 

It comes after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an emergency Covid-19 rule in the Federal Register this summer, which added Covid-19 to a list of possible workplace hazards for healthcare employment.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new vaccine enforcement mechanism. 

The new bill formulates the latest part of the President’s drive to get 100 million employees across the federal government and private sector vaccinated, and would allow for a tenfold increase in fines for companies with 100 people or more who do not follow the vaccine mandates

Any business that violates the rule can already face substantial fines of up to $14,000 per incident, but this figure would increase dramatically if the bill is written into law

Any business that violates the rule can already face substantial fines of up to $14,000 per incident, but this figure would increase dramatically if the bill is written into law

On Thursday 9 September, Biden announced that companies with 100 or more employees must ensure every worker is either fully vaccinated or gets tested at least once a week, or face fines of thousands of dollars.

He also demanded that all workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement – roughly 17 million people – must get vaccinated, and signed an executive order requiring all federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated.

Now, the raise in fines included in the new bill formulates the latest part of the President’s drive to get 100 million employees across the federal government and private sector vaccinated. 

Any business that violates the rule can already face substantial fines of up to $14,000 per incident, but the legislation that has been included in the new $3.5 trillion bill could raise the fines for non-compliance 10 times higher, with a limit of up to $700,000 for each ‘wilful’ or ‘repeated’ violation according to Forbes

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new vaccine enforcement mechanism

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new vaccine enforcement mechanism

A senior administration official described it as an ‘aggressive, comprehensive’ plan to fight COVID as part of their mission to ‘vaccinate the unvaccinated.’ 

The official estimated nearly 80 million Americans are eligible to receive a shot but have not.

Additionally, the roughly 300,000 educators in head-start programs will be required to be vaccinated.

‘It’s simple – if you want to work for the federal government, you must be vaccinated. If you want to do business with the government, you must vaccinate your workforce,’ the senior administration official said.

The legislation that has been included in the new $3.5 trillion bill could raise the fines for non-compliance 10 times higher, with a limit of up to $700,000 for each 'wilful' or 'repeated' violation, forcing businesses to comply with the government's vaccine drive

The legislation that has been included in the new $3.5 trillion bill could raise the fines for non-compliance 10 times higher, with a limit of up to $700,000 for each ‘wilful’ or ‘repeated’ violation, forcing businesses to comply with the government’s vaccine drive

In New York, one of the cities hit hardest by both the coronavirus and subsequent strict restrictions and vaccine mandates, thousands of businesses have closed or continue to struggle

In New York, one of the cities hit hardest by both the coronavirus and subsequent strict restrictions and vaccine mandates, thousands of businesses have closed or continue to struggle

Negotiations on the $3.5trillion spending bill, which contains progressive measures including programs for social support and green energy investment, are ongoing.

The Budget Committee’s vote on Monday saw the bill narrowly pass 20 votes to 17 with Democratic Rep. Scott Peters of California joining Republicans to vote against the bill. 

Democrats have been struggling to pass President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, including the massive tax and spending bill that would expand education, health care and childcare support, address the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure.

The bill has raised concerns among moderates who worry some of the measures, including on drug pricing and climate, go too far, as progressives say they’ve already compromised enough. Republicans are united in their opposition to it. 

Meanwhile, in the state of New York, hundreds of healthcare workers have been suspended or fired after the state’s sweeping Covid vaccine mandates came into effect this week, resulting in staff shortages that prompted some hospitals to postpone elective surgeries or curtail services. 

New York’s state health department issued an order last month mandating that all healthcare workers receive at least their first COVID-19 shot by September 27, triggering a rush by hospitals to get their employees inoculated. 

On Tuesday, a slew of officials from various hospitals across the state announced that dozens of workers had been suspended or fired, amounting to hundreds across the state. 

 

 

 

 



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