President Biden's vaccine mandate must go into effect January 4

Unvaccinated employees must provide weekly tests that prove they are negative.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- President Joe Biden announced Thursday that all companies with 100 employees or more must require staff to be vaccinated with the COVID vaccine by January 4.

Unvaccinated employees must provide weekly tests that prove they are negative. The company will not pay for those tests unless you have a medical or religious exemption.

The employees who do not get vaccinated also must wear a mask.

Fines for non-compliance will vary based on a company's size and other factors. A company might have to pay up to $13,653 per individual violator or up to $136,532 for willful violation of the rules.

Ann Juliano, a Villanova University law professor who specializes in employment law, spoke to Action News about Biden's announcement.

"Employers have no choice, they have to follow federal law," said Juliano.

SEE ALSO: New vaccine mandates: Most US employees must get shot or test weekly for COVID by Jan. 4

Juliano says she does expect some lawsuits.

"There are certainly going to be cases coming to challenge the Biden administration to issue this mandate. The authority will be they don't have the authority under the statute they're using, but that most likely will take a while to resolve," she said.

Wendell Young, who is the president of UFCW Local 1776, says his union has been proactive during the pandemic.

The union represents 35,000 members in food processing plants, grocery stores, Wine and Spirits shops and many more establishments.

"I have employers who have chosen to actively engage voluntarily on trying to get people vaccinated. And we've achieved high success rates. This is not difficult," said Young.

Young added, "I know there's going to be some negative voices, but let's face it, an overwhelming majority of us are already vaccinated. They don't have the right to come to work and pose a risk for everyone. If they don't want to be vaccinated and have a really hard time with this then ... go work somewhere else where it's not required."

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