MILWAUKEE - Millions of Americans will now be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine to go to work. The government's expansive new rules, announced Thursday, mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.
Many big employers around the country are already requiring workers be vaccinated. In Milwaukee, Northwestern Mutual is one of them. Soon, all companies with more than 100 employees will need proof of vaccination.
"The time for waiting is over," said President Joe Biden.
President Biden announced Thursday all employers with more than 100 employees will need to require COVID-19 vaccination or a weekly COVID-19 test.
"This is not about freedom or personal choice," said Biden. "It’s about protecting yourself and those around you."
It's one of a number of new measures to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has broad authority as to workplace safety, and they are just acting on that authority as they do in other ways," said Mark Goldstein, Goldstein Law Group.
Goldstein said Thursday he had already gotten a number of calls from his business clients asking what this means and how it can be implemented. Not all questions can be answered as there are likely to be legal challenges.
"The idea of a $14,000 fine for every violation, that will be one of the challenges, for sure," said Goldstein.
The Republican National Committee says it plans to sue the Biden administration over the proposal – calling it unconstitutional. The largest business association in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, said in a statement:
"This proposal unfairly pits employers against their employees and will almost certainly result in workers quitting their jobs at a time when businesses are already struggling to find workers."
FOX6 News reached out to a number of Milwaukee businesses this new mandate will apply to. Those that got back to us all said something similar; that they are still looking into this, and it was too early to comment.