Large U.S. Companies to Be Required to Provide Paid Time Off For COVID-19 Vaccinations, Recovery

The Biden administration is now requiring companies to offer paid time off for employees that receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Associated Press reports that the mandate will be applicable to all large companies. This new rule was proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and reviewed by the White House budget office.

OSHA's new rule is not only a move to increase vaccination rates across the country. It will also be a key part of a new federal rule that could determine how big a company has to be in order to require vaccination or regular testing. For this ruling, any company with over 100 employees is considered a large company.

"Covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy," a Labor Department spokesperson said in a statement, "unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work."

OSHA's proposed policy will require large U.S.-based companies to provide their employees with paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and recover from vaccine side effects. Further updates will be released by the Biden administration in the coming days.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Paid Time Off for Vaccination
A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, PA. U.S. companies with over 100 staffers could now be required to provide paid time off for employees to receive and recover from the vaccine. AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

The White House budget office has completed its review of the rule being written by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is expected to be released this week.

The rule – issued under emergency standards to respond to the pandemic -- will cover firms with 100 or more employees, regardless of how many are located in any particular spot.

The official said that the Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the OSHA rule on Monday, and the rule will be published in the Federal Register "in the coming days."

The spokesperson declined to give further details, saying that the administration "will provide further updates when we have more information. "

Separately, the administration will give federal contractors broad authority on how to treat employees who refuse to be vaccinated, according to guidelines that the White House issued Monday.

Under an executive order that President Joe Biden issued in September, contractors have until Dec. 8 to ensure that employees are fully vaccinated. The order has met resistance from some workers at large employers with federal contracts, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The CEO of Southwest said his airline would not fire anybody for refusing to get the shots.