The Biden administration is being accused of using face masks as a “punishment” after it was announced that employees who are unvaccinated would be forced to wear them.
Earlier today, it was revealed that the new rules, which apply to businesses with over 100 employees, federal contractors and certain healthcare workers, would go into effect on January 4th.
From that date, all employees will be required to be fully vaccinated, a mandate that covers 84 million employees working at large employers.
According to the mandate, employers are required to ensure “that each employee who is not fully vaccinated wears a face covering when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes.”
Critics are accusing the administration of weaponizing “Masks as punishment and social ostracism for choosing not to get a vaccine.”
The mandates are being introduced despite massive supply chain issues and employees in numerous sectors staging walkouts to protest the mandatory vaccine rules.
States that try to pass laws that ban mandatory vaccines will also be overruled, according to the announcement.
“Both OSHA and CMS are making clear that their new rules preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing,” said a fact sheet.
Employees who don’t wish to take the vaccine will be forced to provide negative COVID tests on a weekly basis.
“The agency will have planned inspections of some workplaces to ensure they are in compliance with the rule but will also rely on complaints from workers in order to best enforce the new rule,” reports CNN.
Meanwhile, the OSHA is also considering expanding the vaccine mandate to businesses with fewer than 100 employees, meaning millions more companies could be forced to impose the rules.