Just days after the federal government ended a number of temporary programs to help unemployed Americans make it through the pandemic, President Biden announced new initiatives in the fight against COVID-19. “The American people deserve an urgent, robust, and professional response to the growing public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” said President Biden.
The Biden-Harris administration rolled out their seven-point plan to combat the ongoing epidemic, including imposing new vaccine requirements on federal workers, large employers, and health care staff. The new requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans, according to the White House.
In his speech, the President directed the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to have their staff vaccinated or tested once a week. In addition, he also plans to sign an executive order requiring all government employees, contractors, and educators in federal Head Start programs, and 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid programs to be fully vaccinated.
The President also said the federal government will work to increase the supply of virus tests, and has secured concessions from retailers including Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger to sell at-home testing kits at cost beginning this week.
These new requirements come on heels of the federal government’s cut-off date for four temporary programs to help unemployed Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The programs, which ended on Saturday, September 4th, were providing well over $1 billion in aid to about 2.2 million Californians as of late August, according to the state Employment Development Department. Here’s a look at the programs that were affected:
- Pandemic Additional Compensation which added $300 per week to jobless workers’ benefits.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provided up to 86 weeks of benefits to workers in fields not covered by the standard unemployment insurance program.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which offered up to 53 additional weeks of aid to workers who used up their 26 weeks of standard benefits but were still unable to find a job.
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, which added $100 to the standard unemployment benefits earned by people who held jobs but also made money through self-employment the previous year.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with her on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.