SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The Illinois Department of Labor filed new rules on Friday to officially adopt the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for public and private sector employers with more than 100 workers.
According to the federal guidelines, employers must require their workers to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask and submit to testing to enter the workplace. The rules would also order employers to bar workers from the premises if they test positive for COVID-19.
The Pritzker administration quietly filed the new rule change hours after the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court questioned the federal government’s legal authority to enforce a mandate over private employers that don’t receive federal funding. If the nation’s high court eventually upholds the federal vaccine and testing mandate, Illinois employers would have until January 24th to develop a workplace policy, and until February 24th to start enforcing the rules. The conservative justices also appeared to suggest states would have more legal authority to enact workplace vaccine policies than the federal government.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration policy would not apply to employees who work remotely. A state website said the emergency policies are scheduled to expire on July 24th, 2022, though the state has extended several emergency policies throughout the pandemic.
Officials with Governor Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Department of Labor have not yet responded to requests for comment.