Within the nearly 2,500 page Build Back Better Act, lawmakers have upped the fines for businesses by tenfold for those found in violation of the the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), which now includes COVID-19 as a hazard.
On page 168, the $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending bill allows a drastic increase in fines for those that willfully and repeatedly violate a section of labor law that deals with workplace hazards, according to the Daily Mail.
The proposed changes increase the fines for "willful and repeated violation" from $70,000 for each violation to $700,000. Serious violations increased from $7,000 to $70,000. Repeated violations will be fined no less than $50,000 per violation under the proposed rule, increased from $5,000.
Businesses that fail to correct the violation within the time period allowed will be fined $70,000 per day that the violation continues, up from $7,000.
The fine increases comes after OSHA published an emergency COVID-19 rule in the Federal Register in June, which added COVID-19 to the list of possible workplace hazards for healthcare employment, and is covered under these fines.
On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced that all businesses with 100 or more employees must institute a system where their employees either submit proof of vaccination, or be subjected to weekly COVID-19 testing.
The increase in fines for noncompliant companies is drastically higher than the $14,000 fine proposed by OSHA may very quickly force companies to comply, fearing bankruptcy as the Biden administration pushes for more Americans to get vaccinated.
"The refusal has cost all of us. The refusal to get vaccinated has cost all of us. And I'm moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can," Biden said in a speech last week.