Should you require the vaccine? 8 big questions to consider.

AuthorHyman, Jon

If your business is considering mandating the COVID vaccine for your on-site employees, here are the eight biggest questions you need to be thinking about:

  1. How will you accommodate employee disabilities, religious beliefs and pregnancies (or desires to become pregnant)? The EEOC is very clear that you must allow these exceptions to your vaccine mandate. Note that just because an employee seeks an accommodation doesn't mean you need to permit that unvaccinated person into your workplace. You'll need to discuss potential accommodations in an interactive process. That could include continued masking, daily COVID tests, changed shifts or work locations, remote work or even unpaid leave.

  2. How will you track vaccination status? Will you collect copies of vaccine cards, accept a digital passport or simply take employees at their word that they are vaccinated?

  3. Are your employees represented by a union? If so, you probably need to bargain with that union before implementing a vaccine mandate. There is a split among unions whether they support mandates.

  4. Will you advise employees that the choice to get vaccinated remains theirs (just as the choice to keep them employed remains yours)? You should, as long as your employees also understand the consequences of exercising their choice not to get the shot.

  5. How will you educate your employees about the vaccines?

    The CDC provides a great toolkit for employers about vaccine safety. With some education, you risk losing vaccine-hesitant employees.

  6. Are employees receiving paid leave for time spent getting the vaccine and any side effects?

    if...

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