(Reuters) – The Biden administration is investigating what authority companies have to give a mandate for vaccines, a US top official told Reuters on Friday, as it considers what further measures can be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"We're just looking at it to see how far employers can go when it comes to vaccines and asking their employees to get vaccinated," US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh told Reuters. "It's on the radar."
United Airlines Inc. on Friday joined companies ranging from Microsoft to Tyson Foods that require COVID-19 vaccines.
Although shots are widely available in the country, some Americans have chosen not to receive them. At the same time, the rapidly spreading Delta variant has threatened to undo the country's economic and public health gains.
But companies have struggled with the extent of their power to demand shots.
Among the concerns is the possibility that companies will be subjected to discrimination processes when they recall staff to their desks after 1
President Joe Biden, for his part, has already approved such measures. "I will have the backs and backs of other private and public sector leaders if they take such steps," he said on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the federal government, which is the country's largest employer, has stopped taking such steps. They have demanded that unvaccinated employees undergo increased tests.
The administration has also been in early political discussions about a "number of options" to "continue to impose a war response to the virus," press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. These options may include restricting federal funds, such as Medicare funds, from nursing homes and long-term care facilities to stimulate vaccination.
According to preliminary results from an ongoing heart rate survey among more than 200 U.S. employers launched on July 19 by Mercer consultants, 14% now require staff to be vaccinated to work at a company location.
There have been approximately 2,950 COVID-19-related employment lawsuits in the United States since the pandemic began, ranging from telecommuting disputes to workplace safety and discrimination, said law firm Fisher Phillips. Catalog