Many New Jersey business leaders are less than happy with President Biden’s tenure that requires private employers of 100 or more workers to ensure they have been vaccinated against COVID, or to test their workers for the virus. at least once a week.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to specify in the coming weeks when the mandate will come into force.
Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said that many companies “would like to make these decisions on their own accord, taking into account their work environment, workforce and customers they serve ”.
While people may assume that companies with 100 or more employees are typically large companies with significant resources, this is simply not the case.
“There are costs associated with testing that these companies are going to have to bear, and these are companies that have been challenged in the last 18 months, as we know, economically,” she said.
Siekerka said the NJBIA plans to speak with New Jersey policymakers and seek help from companies that may not be able to afford the cost of providing weekly COVID tests.
“Don’t make this a ‘trap’ – make sure we provide compliance assistance and help these businesses,” she said.
Siekerka pointed out that many companies continue to struggle to fill jobs, which will not help if workers leave their posts due to personal opposition to the mandate.
However, some companies are satisfied with the mandate because it gives them the advantage to convince their workers to be vaccinated.
Some of the companies that will be impacted by the mandate, meanwhile, have a completely remote workforce that never even comes to the office.
Siekerka said that if an employee chooses to resign because they do not want to comply with the president’s mandate or a company is forced to fire the individual, companies should not be forced to pay their unemployment insurance.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]
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