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Biden administration to publish vaccine mandate rules within days

Biden administration to publish vaccine mandate rules within days
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his COVID-19 response and vaccination program at Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on October 14. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Federal rules covering how businesses are to implement President Joe Biden's emergency COVID-19 vaccine mandates for workers will be coming soon, the administration said Monday.

The Office of Management and Budget has completed a required review of the proposed rules covering employers with 100 or more workers and they will be published in the Federal Register within days, a Department of Labor spokesman told CNBC and CNN.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been "working expeditiously" to develop temporary standards on implementing last month's White House mandate that companies develop and enforce COVID-19 vaccination policies, or, alternatively, establish plans giving workers the option to get tested regularly and wear a mask at work.

The rules also require employers to provide paid time to workers to get vaccinated and paid sick leave to recover from any side effects.

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"On Nov. 1, the Office of Management and Budget completed its regulatory review of the emergency temporary standard," the spokesman said. "The Federal Register will publish the emergency temporary standard in the coming days."

The sweeping new rule could affect up to 100 million workers -- nearly two-thirds of the American workforce. Non-compliance could result in enforcement actions, which could include "substantial fines" of up to nearly $14,000 per violation, Biden said in September.

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The mandate has prompted threats of lawsuits by many Republican state governors, some of whom have said they will not enforce the new rules.

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Last week, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed an executive order directing state agencies to resist the vaccine mandate and ordered state employees to cooperate in a potential lawsuit challenging the measure.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last month banned any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring vaccinations for employees or customers. He, along with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in September threatened to sue over the administration rule.

Biden responded by saying, "Have at it."

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"Look, I am so disappointed that particularly some of the Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids," he said Sept. 10 after touring a middle school in Washington, D.C. "So cavalier of the health of their communities. We are playing for real here. This isn't a game."

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