Personal Finance

More than half of employers to require Covid vaccines as omicron fears grow

As President Joe Biden’s nationwide employer vaccine mandate gets held up in court, more employers are considering implementing their own requirements.

The majority of U.S. employers now have, or plan to have, a vaccine mandate as many return-to-work plans are pushed back again, due to concerns about the new omicron Covid variant.

According to a Willis Towers Watson survey of 543 employers, 57% of all organizations said they either require or plan to require vaccinations. Of that, 18% already do and 7% are planning to put a requirement in place.

Another 32% will do so if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard takes effect.

More from Personal Finance: 
‘Great Resignation’ has put many workers ‘in the driver’s seat
Nearly half of all Americans expect to retire in debt
Heading back to work after retiring?

Currently, the Biden administration has had to halt implementation and enforcement of its vaccination and testing policy, which required businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their staff were vaccinated or undergo weekly Covid testing. 

The mandate would cover two-thirds of the private-sector workforce, or more than 84 million workers. 

“This continues to be such a quagmire for employers because of the legal challenges to the ETS,” said John Ho, a labor and employment attorney at the law firm Cozen O’Connor.

Related News  Record-high inflation could mean a bigger Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2023

“Most of the clients I’m talking to are still in a wait-and-see,” Ho said.

“If rates go back up, employers might get more aggressive,” he added. “Everyone is keeping their eye on the numbers.”

Even without Biden’s shot mandate, “nothing is precluding employers with moving ahead with their own version,” said Ian Carleton Schaefer, chair of Loeb and Loeb’s New York employment and labor practice.

“As employers are pushing to reopen, they are likely going to get more aggressive with their own policies, regardless of what happens,” he said.

However, the threat of higher employee turnover may be holding some businesses back from pursuing an independent plan, according to Scott Hecker, senior counsel at the Washington, D.C., office of Seyfarth Shaw and a former attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor.

“I’ve talked to clients who have said they can’t lose one person; they are already stretched so thin.” 

In fact, only 3% of employers with vaccination mandates reported a spike in resignations, Willis Towers Watson found, although nearly one-third of those planning mandates are very concerned that it could drive employees away.

“There’s certainly documentation that the threat of departure maybe isn’t borne out when the rubber meets the road,” Hecker said, but “we do have to consider that stats don’t always show the story on the ground.”

Related News  Unemployment claims end 2021 near pre-pandemic levels

Many U.S. companies, including United Airlines, CVS Health and Walmart, already have a vaccine mandate, while others, such as Bank of America, encourage the vaccine but do not require it.

The White House has recommended that private businesses implement their own vaccine and testing requirements, despite the court-ordered pause. And yet, when Google issued its own vaccine mandate, hundreds of employees pushed back.

Many employers were thinking of bringing employees back around the first of the year, now there’s new uncertainty which will push this back further.

Jeff Levin-Scherz

population health leader at Willis Towers Watson

“The balance of power is in flux now,” added Loeb and Loeb’s Schaefer. “A lot depends on the company, the industry and the geography.”

On the flip side, nearly half of employers said that vaccine mandates could help attract and retain employees, Willis Towers Watson found. (Meanwhile, the number of job listings mandating candidates have a Covid vaccine is surging.)

The survey also found even more employers are planning to require testing and masks for employees returning to the office in addition to vaccine mandates. About 84% said they will offer testing, most on a weekly basis, and 9 out of 10 require or plan to require masks indoors.

Related News  Amid water shortages and power outages, Texans cry foul over price gouging for bottled water, gas and $1,000 hotel rooms

Legally, if an employee has a religious or medical issue, they have a right to request a reasonable accommodation, which may be to stay home, according to Ho.

Where return-to-work plans stand now

VioletaStoimenova | E+ | Getty Images

For more updates check below links and stay updated with News AKMI.
Life and Style || Lifetime Fitness || Automotive News || Tech News || Giant Bikes || Cool Cars || Food and Drinks

Source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

usa news wall today prime news newso time news post wall

Close