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New vaccine mandates may be affecting two-thirds of the Americans workforce

Thursday, September 9th, President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements for federal employees, large businesses, and health care staff.
Thursday, September 9th, President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements for federal...
Thursday, September 9th, President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements for federal employees, large businesses, and health care staff.(Gillian Trudeau)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:48 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In this plan, Biden would require all businesses with at least 100 employees to require vaccinations or test workers once a week. It is an attempt to vaccinate the 80 million Americans without a shot.

It’s something one Black Hills company is watching closely.

A statement from Black Hills Energy says, “We’re aware of President Biden’s executive order on vaccinations for companies with 100 employee or more and are currently reviewing the details since we do have more than 100 employees. Since the vaccinations have been made available, we’ve encouraged our employees to consider that as an option for themselves but have not required them to do so.

Companies that don’t comply with the mandate could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee.

One large employer is hoping a reward would work better than a fine, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender released a new vaccine incentive for city employees.

“The Mayor has made it very clear that he’s not going to pursue a vaccine mandate, that’s not something we want to bring to our workforce, and so taking that off the table we were left with what else can we do to encourage vaccinations,” said Nick Stroot, human resource director at City of Rapid City.

city workers are eligible for a $100 wellness incentive payment when receiving the vaccine or proving they are already vaccinated, but even the city’s incentive is voluntary due to the mayor wanting to avoid conflict in the workplace.

“The division in the community is not something he wants to bring in our employees, unfortunately at some point this became political in our society and he has no desire to bring that sort of division to our employee group,” said Stroot.

Biden also announced he intends to mandate vaccinations for 17 million health care workers at hospitals receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid.

In a statement from Monument Health is reads, “Monument Health is evaluating President Biden’s recent announcement and how it impacts our organization. Further announcements will be forthcoming.”

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