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Friday, January 28, 2022

Unvaccinated Michigan Workers Must Wear Masks to Jobs Under State Guidelines

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In Michigan, one of the 26 states that enforce workplace safety rules in place of the federal government, about 586,000 government employees are subject to a COVID-19 vaccine issued by the Biden administration and testing requirements for private sector workers, according to the Associated Press.

Michigan public and private employers with 100 or more employees must tell them to vaccinate by January 4, according to the new order from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, employers can alternatively give employees the option to get vaccinated or take a weekly COVID-19 test. Mask wearing for non-vaccinated people should begin no later than 5 December.

On Tuesday, Michigan business groups that oppose the mandate said they would help companies comply because deadlines are approaching and it is not clear what will happen in the courts, according to the Associated Press.

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Officials from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and other organizations said that most companies in Michigan said they would prefer to make the choice of vaccination or testing rather than enforcing a vaccination.

For more reports from the Associated Press, see below.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccination at the White House on August 23.
Jim Watson / Getty Images

Federal law requires those states with OSHA-approved plans to cover state and local government employees, including school employees.

Jason Moon, a spokesperson for the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity said.

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Peter Spadafor, deputy director of external relations for the Michigan Association of Supervisors and Administrators, said, “Our members have seen, generally speaking, that it’s not exactly a vaccine mandate. So they’re looking at what testing protocols can do that looks like employees opting out and things like that.” .

“But we know in the association that science is guiding us towards vaccination, testing and coverage being some of the most effective means of preventing spread,” he added.

A federal appeals court over the weekend blocked a new OSHA law from operating. The White House has expressed confidence that it can withstand legal challenges.

The test requirement covers employees who are at the workplace at least once a week.

If an employee decides to quit his job instead of getting vaccinated, [employers] Pointing to the labor shortage, Michael Tierney, president of the Michigan Bankers’ Association, said:

Business groups in Michigan have criticized the requirement as onerous, saying it could lead to increased vaccine frequency and questioned the timing. The hospitality and retail sectors are entering their busiest period of the year at a time of supply chain disruptions in the economy, said Rich Stadley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

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“The timing of implementing this rule really couldn’t be worse,” he said.

The White House said Monday that the mandate is about keeping people safe amid a pandemic that has killed more than 755,000 people in the United States.

“We believe that in order to eradicate this epidemic, we need to vaccinate more people, and this is a way to do that,” said spokeswoman Karen-Jean-Pierre. “We are seeing that the vaccination requirements are working. It is important to keep people safe in their workplace.”

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