The Fifth Circuit Court shot down the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard back in November, and many people thought it was never to return. But, the Sixth Circuit court brought it back last Friday, and OSHA declared it would begin enforcement on January 10, 2022.
Any business that fails to comply with Biden vaccine mandate, which affects companies with at least 100 employees, may face fines. For a serious violation, a fine can cost as much as $13,653 per incident.
If your business acts in “good faith,” however, and you’re doing your best to get this up to date, the agency says it will give you until February 9, 2022.
If you have 100 or more employees and you’re not prepared with an implementation plan, you’d better spend this holiday season figuring out how to track weekly testing.
To keep reading, click here: Why OSHA Will Start Fining Workplaces Up to $13,653 in the New Year
6 thoughts on “Why OSHA Will Start Fining Workplaces Up to $13,653 in the New Year”
I know the law allows for it, but there is no legitimate religious exemption to vaccines. There just isn’t. These objections have no basis in science or public health and are of questionable morality. Furthermore, nearly all major religions have urged their followers to get vaccinated because they recognize the danger COVID-19 poses to the health and welfare of other people.
Vaccine science has been ongoing for more than 100 years, mRNA research for around 20. The COVID vaccines have been out for a year, they work, and they’re safe for the vast majority of people to take. If you are medically able to get the vaccine, you will be protecting those who cannot, without assuming the risks of severe disease yourself. This is what herd immunity actually means.
Most religions teach that one should care for other people. If your church is telling you otherwise, you need a new church.
Unfortunately, that’s beside the point. It’s not a question of efficacy, but of theology. Efficacy isn’t relevant, as evidenced by the Jehovah’s Witness’ objection to transfusions. Your arguments aren’t invalid so much as beside the point; you’re failing to address the argument in question.
Attitudes like this are why something like a million pagans are afraid to practice their religion openly. Many view this group of religions the same way you view the anti-vaccination question, and believe (as has been stated in court) that the practitioners of this group of religions do not deserve First Amendment protection or reasonable accommodations. In the US the ideal is that ALL sincerely held religious beliefs are protected–not just the ones we happen to agree with. We fall short, obviously (again, a million people are hiding their religious views in this country, at the low end), but that at least is the standard we set for ourselves.
The reason this is important is that any power you grant to your political allies you also grant to your political enemies. Do you really want Donald Trump deciding what religions deserve protection? Or Joe Biden? Better–by far!–to err on the side of caution.
And that’s the issue with the current “religious exemption” thing: is it sincere? The answer often times is that no, it’s not–people found a way to engage in a political statement using religion as a smoke screen. It’s a problem with the USA; religion and politics are deeply intertwined.
For me, I think a good litmus test would be to ask when the objection to vaccinations occurred and what vaccines it covers. An objection that started in 1970 and covers all vaccines, or a handful the group thinks are made via immoral means, would likely be sincere. An objection that started last year and is limited to the Covid-19 shots is almost certainly a political statement under the guise of religion. Ironically, given that most objections are coming from Christian religious sects, this falls under the heading “Thou shalt not bear false witness”.
The other thing is, you just have to make reasonable accommodations. You don’t have to believe the religion, you just have to let the person practice it. We’ve had a two-year-long experiment in working from home, and have demonstrated that wide swaths of the work force can do it. Cruise ships have demonstrated that segregating vaccinated from unvaccinated is effective at preventing infections. There are ways to allow people to remain unvaccinated while still protecting yourself, your employees, and your clients.
Well said, James. I also disagree with the blanket statement that “early all major religions have urged their followers to get vaccinated.” I think you need to add “to some degree” to this statement. For example, I’m Catholic. The Pope has called getting the vaccine “a gift” and “a sign of love” to one’s community. However, many local bishops and priests in the U.S. have spoken openly against mask mandates and vaccination. So, even within one specific faith view, one can shop around until they find a faith leader who says what they want to hear. Totally agree with James – religion and politics are too inter-woven in this country, even though they shouldn’t be.
Odd comment from you, Elizabeth. Legally there are valid religious exemptions. Not having a basis in science or public health is technically accurate, as religious exemptions are based on religion. Nearly all major religions have urged followers to get vaccinated is true, but one doesn’t need to be a member of a major religion to have religious exemptions.
The idea that you disagree with the morality of other religions, or that you think some people should get a new church… ok that’s your opinion, but some other people probably don’t like your religion either. Your personal opinion is that some churches are wrong? Ok thanks for sharing, but of no legal weight.
Good to see that OSHA has finally put a standard in place which will help eliminate the problems of what employers need in provisions in the workplace to deal with the safety of the employees. Anyone still objecting to what is being required to continue working are definitely choosing to not work at that specific job. This will help HR in clarifying the situation. Let’s hope that they are not going to change their mind again.
Court rulings are not osha ‘changing their minds’.
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