Padilla Applauds Administration Action Following Senator’s Call to Provide Paid Time Off for Workers Getting Vaccinated

New rule follows Padilla letter to DOL and White House urging PTO for employees to get vaccinated and recover from side effects

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new rule that will expand vaccination and testing requirements, as well as provide support to employees receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The rule was issued after Padilla’s ongoing efforts to ensure that employees have access to paid time off in order to get vaccinated. Padilla noted that this rule is needed to support the millions of hourly shift workers who are financially unable to take unpaid time off for vaccination and recovery, and are disproportionately from low-income, minority, and immigrant communities. According to a recent survey, nearly 20 percent of workers have not been vaccinated because they are afraid of missing work or are too busy.

“Americans should not have to choose between risking their health at work and earning a paycheck. Today’s announcement is a big win for millions of American workers who have not been vaccinated because they cannot afford to miss work. It also marks another step forward in our road to recovery as we make it easier for more Americans to get vaccinated so we can bring an end to this pandemic. It’s proven that vaccination requirements work and are beneficial to our economy.

“I applaud the Biden Administration for ensuring that employers are doing their part to encourage workers to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities by getting vaccinated.”

The new Biden-Harris Administration rule compels employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis and requires that these employers provide paid-time for employees to get vaccinated and provide sick leave to recover from any side effects. All unvaccinated workers will be required to wear a face mask in the workplace. OSHA is offering robust compliance assistance to help businesses implement the standard, which can be found at this landing page.

In September, Padilla and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) led their colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Martin Walsh and White House COVID-⁠19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients, urging them to work with Congress, companies, and governments to ensure that employees are offered pay for any time off needed to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects of vaccination.

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