OSHA’s new rule, on the other hand, does not rely on the gestures of a few influential companies. It will directly impact an estimated 88 million people, accounting for more than a quarter of the total US population and two-thirds of working Americans.

To cover even more Americans, the government may still want to expand the new rules further to include the country’s smallest businesses. Even without that extension, however, the new law—while sure to be contentious—should give smaller employers the political cover they need to design their own vaccination mandates, if they haven’t done so already.

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