On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden signed executive orders requiring federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Biden also directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to draft a new emergency rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure all of their workers are either tested for COVID-19 once a week or fully
These new rules come shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was fully approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, enabling the White House to fight the pandemic more aggressively.
The federal employee mandate will apply to executive branch employees and members of the armed services, among others. Applicable federal employees will not be provided the option for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.
The OSHA emergency rule—which is expected in the coming weeks—could affect as many as 80 million Americans. It will reportedly require large employers to provide their workers with paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from any vaccination-related
side effects (e.g., chills). Companies that fail to comply may be subject to up to $14,000 in fines per employee.
Additionally, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for more than 17 million health care workers at hospitals and other facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. This requirement covers a majority of health care workers throughout the country.
This hardline stance on vaccines is a stark contrast to the hands-off approach taken by most employers earlier in the year. However, as Delta continues to cause upticks in hospitalizations and deaths throughout the country, employers will need to ramp up efforts to protect their organizations.
Health experts and business leaders agree that vaccination is the most effective way to limit the spread of Delta and maintain uninterrupted operations. Employers should expect the Biden Administration to continue to take measures to increase vaccination rates.
Large employers and federal contractors affected by these new rules should begin preparing to comply. Employers with less than 100 employees that are interested in their own vaccine mandates should consult with legal counsel before moving forward.
Stay tuned as this is a rapidly developing situation. We will keep you updated on any new developments. Reach out to Gulfshore Insurance for more content on vaccines and the workplace.
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.
If you’re feeling a little stressed or anxious about COVID-19, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel nervous when you’re experiencing the unknown. Below are free Florida Blue resources to support you and help you get the care you need during this time.
Someone to lend an ear: Talk to a specially trained counselor about any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. They are available to you 24/7 at no extra cost. Counselors can be reached at (833) 848-1762 or visit their website at ndbh.com.
Feeling under the weather? Stay safe at home and take advantage of a virtual visit: Avoid the doctor’s office and other possibly sick patients when you have a non-emergency illness like a sinus infection, sore throat, allergies or upset stomach. Check with your employer to see if Teladoc is included in your benefits. Medications, except controlled substances, can be prescribed.
Please note: If you’re seeking a referral for the coronavirus test, keep in mind that you cannot get a referral for the coronavirus test through Teladoc. You must consult your local doctor by phone.
COVID-19 Well-being Assessment: You can now check for COVID-19 symptoms and related risk factors on floridablue.com. Use the new interactive symptom checker located at the bottom right-hand side of your device. In addition to checking your symptoms, the tool will recommend next steps and provide valuable resources for you.
Visit the Florida Blue COVID-19 page to stay up-to-date on the latest information about COVID-19, including:
- Ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting and spreading the virus.
- Options for avoiding doctors’ offices by using virtual care for non-emergency illnesses.
- Links to valuable websites, helpful videos and an evolving list of current COVID-19 testing sites.
We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.
Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
NAPLES, FL (October 27, 2017) – Gulfshore Insurance announced it has been named a Blue Zones Project Approved™ Worksite by Blue Zones Project® – Southwest Florida, a designation indicative of its commitment to helping Southwest Florida residents achieve even healthier lifestyles. A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the designation was held October 26, where the agency joined more than fifty companies in the area that have made the movement towards healthier choices.
Before we know it, the summer months will be in full swing. Remember, those who work outdoors are at a much higher risk for heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, skin cancer and more. Skin cancer affects more than two million people every year and invasive melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, will kill more than 10,000 Americans this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is one death every 52 minutes. As an employer, are you doing enough for your crew?
Know the warning signs of heat-related illness:
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
- Weakness, dizziness or fainting
- Unusually elevated heart rate
- Fast and shallow breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
Protect your employees with these helpful tips:
- Rotate workers on a job site in and out of non-shaded areas, especially during the height of hazardous UV rays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central Daylight Time).
- Consider including heat safety and skin cancer education in your regular safety training.
- Educate employees on the early signs of heat exhaustion, dehydration and skin cancer.
- Encourage employees to look out for each other to detect wooziness, inability to focus, unsteadiness and reddening of the skin.
- Use and make sunscreen readily available to your employees as well as other PPE, like UV-resistant sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and re-fillable water containers.
- Create mandatory water breaks to re-hydrate the crew and provide them with plenty of water.
- Create and enforce policies about heat safety so employees know the company is serious about safety.
To Learn More, visit OSHA.gov
Gulfshore Insurance has been recognized by the American Heart Association (AHA) as a Gold Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company for the sixth year in a row.
Through the Start! Fit-Friendly worksite program, AHA recognizes employers who go the extra mile for their employees’ health. At Gulfshore Insurance, all employees have access to a wellness coach, employee walking groups, healthy food options in the lunch room, and health-awareness seminars. “We’re committed to creating a culture of health in the workplace. Thanks to these initiatives, more Gulfshore Insurance employees are reporting increased physical activity, less stress, and improved health. In addition, employees today are more knowledgeable about their own health than ever before,” said Michelle Gleeson, Vice President and COO.
The American Heart Association’s Start! Fit-Friendly Companies program is a catalyst for positive change in the workplace. Employers throughout the nation can be part of the Start! initiative by demonstrating progressive leadership by making the health and wellness of their employees a priority.