Straight Talk!: Should Employers Require COVID Vaccinations? [Video]
In this edition of Straight Talk! with Jeff Cross, Scott Tackett, a business development advisor with Violand Management Associates (VMA), discusses the growing interest, confusion, and concern over the COVID-19 vaccine as it pertains to industry companies and whether we can require COVID vaccinations of employees. Is legal or wise?
“Like everything in 2020, we’re in uncharted territory,” Tackett says regarding whether employers should require COVID vaccinations. “Currently, neither the EEOC nor OSHA have published any specific guidance on this issue to date for employers, so we’re kind of out there hanging by our threads, so to speak.
Legally, explains Tackett, implementing the same policy as mandatory flu vaccinations, which occur statewide in 18 states, seems the most reasonable policy as long as employers follow the policy’s rules on related exemptions concerning ADA covered disabilities and religious objections covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and make appropriate accommodations.
“I read an article yesterday where 51% of Americans have said they would get the vaccination; 49% naturally are saying they wouldn’t. So, I think we are going to see those same numbers in the workplace, so the employer is going to be in the middle,” Tackett says.
Tackett says he is advising his own clients that the best way to approach the vaccinations where employees are concerned is to be highly conscious of how we approach the issue and use education of the vaccine as a means to approach encouraging, rather than mandating, vaccinations.
“My suggestion is that we…begin now, today, to communicate and discuss both the pros and cons of getting the vaccination,” Tacket says. “I would be very careful about using the term mandate. Right now, let’s just talk about it; let’s communicate until we can fully provide good, timely, accurate information to all of our employees, get them involved, talk about the apparent lack of significant risk that [exist], at least we’re being told, and then talk about the vaccinations.”
See the full video above on on YouTube.