restaurant-news

As Covid-19 Vaccine Nears, Employers Consider Making It Mandatory

Posted: Dec 31, 1969



Just a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, Holly Smith had already made up her mind. She was not going to reopen her restaurant to diners until there was a vaccine. She just didn't think it was safe. When she shared the decision with her staff, they asked: Would the vaccine be mandatory?

Yes, she said. It would be.

"I'm not going to open until I can indeed be sure that everyone on my staff is vaccinated," says Smith, chef and owner of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Wash. "The immediate people on the team — you've got to take care of them. If you don't take care of them, they cannot help you take care of business."

With promising news from three COVID-19 vaccine trials showing 90% to 95% efficacy, employers are now weighing whether they should simply encourage their employees to get vaccinated or make it mandatory.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that employers can legally impose a flu vaccine requirement on their workforce, but employees have the right to request medical or religious exemptions under federal anti-discrimination laws. Each claim must be evaluated on its own merits, a time-consuming process for employers.

While it may be legal for employers to compel their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, doing so would be a huge, difficult undertaking, says Y. Tony Yang, executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University, who has argued against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

By Andrea Hsu
11-25-2020
Source and complete article by: boisestatepublicradio.org


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