As staff return, vaccine still a hot-button issue.

Many employers are setting end-of-summer plans to return employees to the workplace--at least on a hybrid home/work schedule. But lingering controversy over COVID vaccine status continues to raise legal and operational questions.

One issue is confirmed: You can mandate the shots. In a key court ruling this summer, more than 100 Texas hospital workers lost a lawsuit claiming their employer's mandatory COVID vaccine policy is unlawful. That precedent-setting ruling followed on the heels of the EEOC saying that such vax mandates are 100% legal.

This legal backing is encouraging more employers to say they'll bar unvaccinated employees from their workplaces. Healthcare and education have moved quickest on mandates, but some other large firms, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the city of San Francisco, recently announced proof-of-vax status requirements before returning to work.

However, amid labor shortages and spiking quit rates, employers face the risk that getting this issue wrong could send employees out the door.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll of nearly 2,000 American workers found that a slim majority (51%) support the idea of employers requiring the vaccine. But a larger majority (61%) said they don't want their own employer to require the vaccine.

The poll also found that Americans were more likely to get vaccinated if their...

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