The US Department of Labor (DoL) has sent an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for final White House review that will force all private-sector companies with over 100 personnel to require employee vaccinations. DoL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent the rule to the White House’s regulatory office Tuesday, the agency announced. Although the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs can sometimes take months to conclude its analysis, President Joe Biden called for an expedited process, which could mean the office will give its OK in as little as a day. OSHA would then be able to publish the emergency temporary standard, and it would take effect immediately. Historically, the agency has provided businesses with a short period before they’d be required to comply. The standard implements the president’s Sept. 9 order for a regulation requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate workers get fully vaccinated or be tested weekly for Covid-19. Biden also asked for the rule to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects.
As Foreclosurepedia has been exclusively reporting on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) side, implementation has been rapid. Moreover, though, we are of the understanding that a forthcoming Mortgagee Letter (ML) will buttress the requirements of both President Biden’s Executive Order that all federal employees, contractors, and subcontractors — including remote workers — be vaccinated as well as the forthcoming DoL OSHA ETS.
Foreclosurepedia’s take on this is that from a technological point-of-view, compliance is a fairly easy task. And while National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) members such as Aspen Grove Solutions (AGS) will undoubtedly look to gouge millions of dollars in profits from Labor, the reality is that firms such as CredPro already have the product available for less than $15 a year — that price is not a typo. Realistically, there will be two exemptions: One will be religious and the other medical. Fact of the matter is that [w]orkplace Covid-19 vaccination mandates have largely survived a first wave of legal challenges even as the number of lawsuits over them has soared with their expanded use. Workers and advocacy groups have filed at least 39 federal cases this year, contesting vaccination requirements imposed by employers or governments, with 85% of them arriving after Aug. 1, according to a Bloomberg Law review. Courts have denied requests for temporary orders against mandates in 12 of the suits, while seven have ended with dismissals.
Moral opprobrium aside, the reality is that if you are going to do business in the US, you and your supply chain are going to vaccinate. And for those whom believe that the fines will be easier to deal with than the free cost of vaccination? Under 29 C.F.R. § 1903.15(d) if a company violates the Posting requirement, commits an Other-than-serious violation, or a Serious violation, the fine is up to $13,653. The commission of a Willful violation the fine shall not be less than $9,753 and shall not exceed $136,532. Where the teeth really begin to sink in is in the addressing a Repeated violation which the fine shall not exceed $136,532 and the Failure to correct violation which shall not exceed $13,653 PER DAY.
Foreclosurepedia has a great Industry Insider podcast this weekend with the owner of CredPro which you don’t want to miss out on! We talk about their discussions with HUD, their referral over to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and their target of less than $15 per year for verification of COVID vaccination.