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Vaccination Mandates are the New WFH

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By: Bill Wednieski

 

I’ve had the very recent firsthand experience of working with candidates at polar opposite ends of the vaccination spectrum.

First, I was working with a very bright young lady that told me about a “deal breaker” on mask or vaccine mandates. I asked her to clarify, and she told me she was looking for a new opportunity because she intended to resign from her current role due to a pending vaccine mandate and upcoming deadline at her current employer.

Second, I am still currently working with candidate that highly desires to work for an employer with a vaccine mandate. In fact, this candidate commented that she gets off an elevator when unmasked people get on and takes the stairs. Note: This story is still unfolding as the client has a 75% vaccination rate among its workforce, and is quite flexible on remote vs. in-office. Great candidate. Great client. Might not work out due to lack of a vaccination mandate.

The recent trend of returning to the office vs. work from home (WFH) is old news, and has been supplanted by vaccine mandates. As we near open enrollment season watch out that some employers are also decreasing their share of insurance premiums on unvaccinated employees. Many employers are also making weekly Covid-19 tests mandatory for the unvaccinated, and even more extreme some employers are choosing to terminate unvaccinated workers.

Is this even legal? Caveat: I am not a lawyer but apparently the U.S. Government says vaccination mandates are not discriminatory, and expressly permits employers to require any on-site employee to be vaccinated. There are exceptions for those with underlying health conditions or religious reasons not to be vaccinated. More to come, including lawsuits.

We’re keeping our eyes on the unfolding situation and seeing the trends in real-time as we continue working with clients and candidates.