In early September, President Biden and the U.S. Labor Department announced an emergency regulation requiring companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforces are either fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week. Noncomplying businesses could be fined up to $14,000 per violation, a punitive measure intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Retailers, particularly those with large numbers of stores and/or warehouses/distribution centers, are now grappling with how to enforce the regulation across their workforces.
In this video interview, Marissa Mastroianni, associate at law firm Cole Schotz, discusses the impact of this regulation on both retailers that have already enacted company policy for the vaccination of workers, as well as those that haven't yet created such guidelines for their organizations. Mastroianni shares the steps retailers can take to ensure compliance with the federal regulation, as well as what enterprise retailers and other large employers that may be unable to comply should know about limited legal recourse options and violation consequences.
Furthermore, Mastroianni touches on an estimated timeline for the enactment of this emergency rule and whether retailers will be required to cover the cost for testing of employees that opt for once-a-week COVID-19 testing instead of receiving the vaccine. She shares what retailers need to consider before hosting an on-site vaccination clinic for staff, how the regulation may impact retailers' planning for holiday and into 2022, and how employers can address the privacy concerns that this regulation brings to the table for individual employees.