IL Adopts Biden Administration Large Employer Vaccine Mandate

By Benjamin Cox on January 9, 2022 at 10:11am

The Illinois Department of Labor filed peremptory amendments on Friday to officially adopt the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers in the public and private sector.

The filing comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would review the rules questioning the federal government’s authority to enforce a mandate over private employers that don’t receive federal funding.

Illinois’ new move would apply to all public sector employers under the jurisdiction of Illinois’ OHSA, which includes all state government workers and contractors as well as first responders at police and fire departments in municipalities across the state.

According to the federal guidelines , which also apply to large private companies with over 100 employees, employers must require their workers to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19 or wear a mask and submit to testing to enter the workplace. The rules would also order employers to prohibit workers from working on premise if they test positive for the virus. The federal rules would not apply to a company’s remote workers.

The new Covid policy would be set to expire on July 24th. If the U.S. Supreme court upholds the review of the rules, companies with 100 or more would have until January 24th to formulate a workplace policy concerning vaccination status and then would have until February 24th to begin enforcing the rules.

The next Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules meeting, where such emergency rule-making is overseen by state bodies, is Tuesday.

A challenge to the federal OHSA vaccine mandates for employers of more than 100 employees was heard Friday in the U.S. Supreme Court. During arguments, the Supreme Court suggested states could have more legal authority to implement a vaccine mandate over private business than the federal government. Governor J.B. Pritzker spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh told WCIA-Champaign on Friday that if the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the rule, Illinois’ peremptory amendment would be rescinded: “We just have to match the feds with whatever happens, and filing the rule gives people time to plan if it’s upheld.”

Currently, municipalities in the area don’t track vaccination status of their workers. Under the rules if they are upheld, cities and large-scale employers would be required to provide testing for all employees who don’t get vaccinated. Employers must also provide support for employee vaccination.