The Biden administration wants to implement a new vaccine mandate that will require companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. The mandate could affect about 56,000 Baton Rouge employees.

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President Biden announced in September that companies with 100 or more employees will have to get fully vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 starting in January 2022.

The plan could affect nearly 56,000 Baton Rouge employees if implemented.

On November 5, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit along with multiple other states to temporarily halt the mandate.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber told WAFB the mandate would impact about 350 companies in the Capitol City region.

One Baton Rouge business, Orange Theory Fitness, is one step ahead of the mandate.

They already require their staff to be fully vaccinated.

Brandon Myers is the General Manager of Orange Theory Fitness at three locations in the Baton Rouge area. 

Myers says that requiring vaccines has caused some difficulty in the hiring process.

“It is hard to find, during a labor shortage, people that are fully vaccinated,” Myers said. “We’ve given ourselves another hurdle when it comes to being fully staffed.”

However, Myers thinks that the requirements have benefitted the company so far.

“I’ve been here fourteen months, and we have not had one outbreak or case in our gym,” Myers said.

Myers believes that the inconvenience is worth it because it prevents putting the business at risk.

“I know what COVID can do to a business,” Myers stated. “I know what it can do to have a COVID ‘scare’ just where someone’s out for three days. That is a major shakeup to a business.”

Greg Accardo, Director of the LSU Professional Sales Institute, says that if the mandate is implemented, businesses need to be adaptable.

“The companies that find was to be more innovative, to keep focusing on their customers while still taking care of employees, are the ones who are going to overcome this,” Accardo said. 

The lottery will be held this week to determine which federal appeals court will hear and decide on if President Biden’s plan will proceed.