MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Some Minnesota employers are concerned about how a new federal vaccine requirement for workers will affect an already tight labor market.

New regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require companies with more than 100 employees to require their workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested for the virus weekly and wear masks at work. The requirement begins on January 4. Failure to comply could result in penalties of up to $ 14,000 per violation.

There are nearly 4,800 employers in Minnesota with 100 or more workers, according to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Star Tribune. reported.

“I think a number of companies have concerns (and) believe that the temporary emergency standards will create additional economic uncertainty for their companies in particular, as well as for the economy as a whole,” Vicki said. Stute, vice president of Minnesota. Chamber of Commerce.

While OSHA standards allow midsize and large businesses to provide workers with a testing option to avoid vaccination, that is not the case for establishments accepting payments from the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs. government, said Patti Cullen, President and CEO of Care. Minnesota Suppliers.

“Let’s be clear – this is a potential powder keg with a short fuse,” Cullen said. “We may face a scenario where we do not have enough workers to serve the elderly in our facilities. And despite our pleas for help, there are no concrete solutions – neither at state nor federal level – to help us resolve our unprecedented workforce crisis. “