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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A girl is inoculated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a vaccination event organized by the Miami-Dade County and Miami Heat, at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida, USA, on August 5, 2021. REUTERS / Marco Bello

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By Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration is examining what authorities companies have to force vaccines, a senior US official told Reuters on Friday, considering what further steps can be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re looking at this just to see how far employers can go when it comes to vaccines and to ask their employees to get vaccinated,” U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told Reuters. “It’s on the radar.”

On Friday, United Airlines Inc. joined companies ranging from Microsoft (NASDAQ 🙂 to Tyson Foods (NYSE 🙂 they are forcing COVID-19 vaccines.

Although the shots are widely available in the country, some Americans have chosen not to get them. Meanwhile, the rapidly expanding delta variant has threatened to undo the country’s economic and public health gains.

But companies have struggled with their authority to demand shots.

Concerns include the possibility of companies being exposed to discrimination lawsuits when they call staff back at their desk after 18 months of work from home induced by a pandemic.

For his part, President Joe Biden has already approved these moves. “I will have the back and back of other private and public sector leaders if they take these steps,” he said on Tuesday.

However, the federal government, which is the first employer in the country, has stopped following these steps. They have required unvaccinated employees to undergo higher tests.

The administration has also been in early policy debates over a “range of options” to “continue to give a war response against the virus,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. These options could include restricting federal funds, such as Medicare money, from nursing homes and long-term care centers to stimulating vaccination.

According to preliminary results from an ongoing dust survey of more than 200 American employers launched on July 19 by Mercer consultants, 14% now require vaccination of staff to work at the company site.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been about 2,950 labor claims related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, ranging from disputes over remote work to safety and discrimination in the workplace, he said. the Fisher Phillips buffet.

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