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Companies with 100+ workers now required to all be vaccinated or tested weekly

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Thursday afternoon, September 9, President Joe Biden announced a new vaccine mandate to require businesses with more than 100 employees to have all their staff be either vaccinated against COVID-19 or go through weekly testing.

It’s a rule that could affect up to 80 million Americans. Which is about two-thirds of the country’s workforce, according to the White House. All federal employees and contractors will now be required to get the shot and no longer have the option to be tested regularly.

“We’re bringing in a labor lawyer for this coming Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. for everyone to come in and find out what they need to do and what their obligations are,” De Pere Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Hung Nguyen, said.

Local business owners and employees can come and ask questions to attorney Jonathan Eiden of von Briesen & Roper, who practices labor and employment law in Wisconsin next Wednesday, September 15, from 7:30 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and learn more about the rights of employers and employees as they relate to coronavirus vaccinations in the workplace. The event is free to De Pere Area Chamber members and $20 for non-members. A light breakfast will be provided. To register, you can visit deperechamber.org.

The national mandate will also require that bigger businesses provide paid time off for vaccination. The U.S. Labor Department now requires those organizations to give paid time off. First, to get the shot. Then, potentially for recovery time from symptoms.

“Many businesses may choose the option of allowing for testing as an option,” Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, emphasized. “Many may choose that they should just make vaccines the requirement. It leads it up to them to make that decision.”

“One word: confusing. That’s it,” the northern region vice-president and general manager of Wolter Group, Dennis Somers, shared. Wolter is a major manufacturing handling company with a reach of about 11 states including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana. “I’m not looking to subject blame or point fingers. What we all need in the community is crystal clarity.”

A half dozen Green Bay restaurants had no comment about how this new mandate would affect their staff. Neither did the Green Bay Packers, which is waiting to receive formal information before taking any next steps.

We will continue to follow this story as more details and medical advice is shared.

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