U.S. companies have variously accepted President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination obligations for companies with more than 100 employees, and many large companies and their industry groups, even if SMEs are rampant. We welcome this directive.
Some companies say the order imposes additional burdens that could exacerbate historic worker shortages and supply chain bottlenecks.
Meanwhile, the law says that details such as how the plan will be implemented and who will bear the costs are likely to remain unclear until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues an “emergency temporary standard” that implements the requirements. Experts say.
The order is expected to cover approximately 80 million private workers and the majority of approximately 4 million federal workers.
On Thursday, Biden becomes a company with more than 100 employeesir Workers are vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 at least weekly. Another executive order requires vaccinations for federal workers and contractors in government agencies.
Kathryn Bakich, Health Compliance Practice Leader at Segal, an employee benefits consulting firm, is advancing its mission as many large companies already have their own vaccine policies or are strongly considering doing so. doing.
A few major companies, such as United Airlines, McDonald’s and Walt Disney, imposed employee vaccination obligations on some or all workers in the spring. Similarly, other large and medium-sized businesses have begun to seriously consider whether to follow a similar policy this summer.
“I don’t think anyone has talked about it,” says Bakichi, whose clients are generally large companies.
“The Business Roundtable welcomes the Biden administration’s continued vigilance in the fight against COVID,” a group representing the country’s major companies said in a statement. “Over the past few weeks, many companies have decided to implement vaccine obligations for some or all of their employees. This is a decision we commend.”
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Providing “some compensation” to employers
Karla Grossenbacher, head of labor and employment practices at Seyfarth Shaw in Washington, DC, welcomes Biden’s order by many companies that have been reluctant to impose vaccine requirements that may be unpopular with some staff. It says it’s likely.
“This will provide some compensation to the employer,” she says.
Still, large companies with hundreds or thousands of employees “enhance compliance because they have a large talent department to ensure that employees are vaccinated or tested weekly. You can, “said James Sullivan, co-chair of the OSHA workplace at law firm Cozen O’Connor. Safety and health practice group.
“Many small employers aren’t equipped to deal with these logistics,” he adds, to get vaccinated or recover from shots, as Biden’s orders require. Must bear the cost of giving employees paid leave.
Kevin Coolman, vice president of federal relations for the National Federation of Independent Business, said: “Additional obligations, enforcement, and penalties further threaten the recovery of vulnerable SMEs.”
“Lose 30% of employees”
Mehtab Bhogal, co-CEO of Forever Floral, which sells handmade artificial flower bouquets online, says there is no HR staff available to vaccinate and test 130 employees.
“It’s a waste of time and time is money,” he says. For his chief operating officer and production manager, he believes the task will take 150 to 200 hours.
Bogal said he is already struggling to attract and retain employees due to a shortage of workers, and that mission will increase those tensions. He states that the company is based in Ogden, Utah. Utah is a conservative region that tends to look carefully at federal orders.
“I think I’ll lose 30% of my workforce,” he says. He also says he couldn’t absorb the cost of the weekly test and would only hire vaccinated job seekers.
“I feel like (the government) is letting employers do dirty work and avoid liability,” Bhogal adds. “It creates a lot of unnecessary headaches for us.”
However, Nashville-based medical recording company MediCopy, which employs about 200 people nationwide, created its own policy two weeks ago that reflected Biden’s plans, CEO Elliott Noble-Holt said. Stated.
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“We are a healthcare service provider and it’s important to set an example and lead,” he says. “I was proud to see the president talk about his mission. It was confirmed that he puts humanity first.”
Impact on worker shortages
This order can have various implications for the country’s labor shortage.
If a company sets its own vaccination requirements, employees who do not want to be vaccinated may leave for their competitors. Federal obligations are imposed on all companies with at least 100 employees and could limit such sales.
Devjani Mishra, leader of the COVID-19 Task Force at Little Mendelson, said:
Biden’s plans, meanwhile, could exacerbate sales problems if they encourage employees of companies with more than 100 workers to be seconded to small businesses, Grossenbacher said. ..
On the other hand, other details that specify how the mission is accomplished are ambiguous, says Grossenbacher.
Do companies need to report vaccination and test results to OSHA, or simply track them and, in some cases, face audits?
Who will pay for the test? Are you a company or an employee?
If the company does not ensure that employees are vaccinated or tested, will they face greater legal liability if a worker gets stuck?
Grossenbacher and Sullivan state that OSHA’s directives are likely to explain all such issues more clearly.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” says Grossenbacher.
U.S. companies are reacting differently to orders
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