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New federal COVID-19 safety rules exempt most employers


Biden administration exempts most employers from long-awaited rules to protect workers from coronavirus

Instead of issuing mandatory rules for other workplaces, the Biden administration issued new non-binding guidance, easing the recommendations. Most workplaces where people have been fully vaccinated are no longer required to provide any protection against the coronavirus, according to guidelines issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for protecting workers.

Many stores and other companies are already easing mask and other safety policies in response to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it also represents a step back from President Joe Biden’s earlier indications that he would refuse to issue mandatory safety rules for workers in the Trump administration.

Mark Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 1.3, said the new standard “represents a broken promise for the millions of American workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants who have become ill and have been affected by this pandemic.” died on the front.” Million workers said in a statement. “Vaccination is helping us control this pandemic, but the threat to these essential workers is not over.”

Biden raised hopes for an emergency standard covering all workplaces when he signed an executive order shortly after taking office, giving OSHA until March 15 to issue the rules. But the Labor Department missed that deadline, and the landscape around the pandemic changed rapidly, with vaccination rates rising and the CDC relaxing its own guidance around distance and masking.

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