The Biden administration will most likely rely on informants to enforce its COVID-19 vaccine mandate on employers, experts say.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently tasked with enforcing President Joe Biden’s vaccine rule that is set to go into effect Jan. 4, mandating employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be vaccinated or submit weekly negative COVID-19 tests.
Yet the agency, which has just 1,850 inspectors responsible for 130 million workers and 8 million worksites, may not be equipped for the task.
The Biden administration may instead have to rely on informants to enforce the vaccine mandate.
“There is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers door or even calling them,” Debbie Berkowitz, former OSHA chief of staff and fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, told the Associated Press. “They’re going to rely on workers and their union representatives to file complaints where the company is totally flouting the law.”
Roughly 20% to 25% of OSHA inspections are due to receiving a complaint from a worker, the AP reported.
“Most employers — they’re law abiding,” David Michaels, former OSHA chief, epidemiologist and professor of public health at George Washington University, told the AP. “They’re trying to make sure that they meet the requirements of every law and regulation.”
Michaels said that OSHA could discourage employers by heavily penalizing health infractions.
“Now OSHA will follow up,” Michaels said. “They’ll respond to complaints. They’ll do spot checks. They’ll issue citations and fines, and they’ll make a big deal of those.”
OSHA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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