COVID – A Simplified Summary?
From the onset, COVID has presented countless twists, turns and interruptions to our lives and businesses. The current pace of change regarding requirements and recommendations continues to be dizzying.
Just as More Employers Are Considering Vaccine Mandates, we are learning that Vaccine Mandates come with Risk to Employee Pools as people develop deeper emotions regarding vaccines and Vaccine Mandates Brew More Dissent.
Additionally, employers and work comp carriers are learning that some states are considering legislation where a Bill Would Create Presumption For Adverse Vaccine Reactions.
If you are feeling lost, here is what we currently understand:
- It is permissible for employers to require COVID vaccination and/or routine testing as a condition of employment (although some authorities requiring vaccines do not offer routine testing as an alternative, you may want to consider it as a part of your plan).
- The initial concern for employers was related to litigation from employees, but that has subsided since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance came out in May stating it is fine for employers to require vaccines and testing. Hopefully, this stands the test of time.
- Now the concerns are more about employee backlash, attrition, turnover etc. especially in such a tight labor market.
- It is recommended that you document (archive) information supporting your decisions as guidance has not been consistent over time.
- What may be legal/permissible may still be a challenge for employers as employees are strongly invested in their views on the topic.
- Following local guidance/requirements appears to be the best path forward. Noting sources and timing for changing company documents is advisable. Educating employees as to local guidance and company procedures is a good practice.
- Requiring routine testing may be a double edge sword. Although it may be legal or permissible, there is likely more to come regarding this practice as there are many unknowns and implications of false positives. Moreover, being prepared to respond to testing and corresponding results may be challenging for the same reasons.
Your Innovise team can help you navigate the changing landscape of COVID.