UPDATED 1:12 PM PT – Friday, November 5, 2021
Republicans are sounding the alarm over increased OSHA penalties included in Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.
Reports on Friday, indicated Democrats’ $1.7 trillion spending proposal would bring OSHA violation fines up to $70,000 and in some cases, $700,000. Earlier in the week, Biden unveiled an executive order forcing businesses with more than 100 employees to enforce vaccine mandates or face penalties.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” said Biden. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, we’re in a tough stretch and it could last for a while.”
The deadline to get vaccinated has been changed to Jan. 4. Businesses will be required to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
The Build Back Better Reconciliation Bill contains important items for worker safety:
–$707 million to #OSHA to be spent over the next 5 years.
–Significant increase in OSHA maximum penalties:
Serious: $13,653 to $70,000
Willful: $136,530 to $700,000 https://t.co/F5FbDvzo7P pic.twitter.com/K5SAmrICbH
— Jordan Barab (You're on mute!) (@jbarab) October 28, 2021
Currently, OSHA violations cost as much as $7,000. Additionally, the Build Back Better agenda would provide OSHA with upwards of $707 million to enforce its penalties.
Republicans warned the plan would only worsen an already tight labor market and could bankrupt some small businesses.