The U.S. government may not require everyone to be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine, but large employers in U.S. businesses are stepping into that gap.
More than 12 major US companies, including Wal-Mart, Google, Tyson Foods and United Airlines, recently announced mandatory vaccines for some or all workers.
“The rapid increase in the number of infectious and dangerous variants of COVID-19 has increased the rate of serious illness and hospitalization among unvaccinated people in the United States, resulting in a full vaccine. Now is the right time to take the next step to securing a vaccinated workforce, “Dr. Claudia Tyson’s chief medical officer, Coplein, said in a statement Tuesday.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States on Sunday reported an average of more than 108,600 new cases per day for seven days, up 36% from last week. Health officials and business owners are putting employees working in remote locations into the desks, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 83% of nationally sequenced coronavirus cases are due to delta mutations. I think of vaccination as the safest way to get it back.
Currently, some employers unilaterally require vaccines, but most employers limit the scope of counseling to specific offices or groups of workers.
Google and Facebook are demanding Covid immunity for those returning to the US office. Wal-Mart, which has 1.6 million employees in the United States, imposes vaccination obligations on all businesses and administrative staff, but store workers must wear masks in high-risk countries.
Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon described the retailer’s plans to “gradually return to offices after Labor Day with the idea of approaching pre-pandemic levels.”
In April 2020, according to a Gallup poll, 70% of employees surveyed worked from home. Companies are trying to get their workers back to the office, but due to the upsurge in Covid cases, some have already started to postpone their return dates. At the end of last month, Google extended the return-to-office deadline to October 18, delaying it by more than a month.
Dr Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia Irving Medical University, said: center. “If it’s the best or the only way to motivate some people, it’s a tool in our toolbox. “
United Airlines is due to prove Friday that all of the approximately 67,000 U.S. employees have been vaccinated against Covid by October 25, the country’s first major airline to issue such a bond. I said it would. United said it would be exempted for religious or medical reasons, but employees risk being made redundant if they don’t comply.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and airline chairman Bret Hart told employees who announced the need for a vaccine: “Those who oppose this move to require vaccines from all employees of United. There will be some. “But we have no responsibility to you and your colleagues beyond ensuring your safety while you are working.” The facts are clear. When everyone is vaccinated, everyone will be safer. “
Low-cost airline Frontier Airlines carried out its own mission hours later, but said employees would have to show proof of vaccination or take regular Covid tests before October 1. I did it.
For better or worse, other virus-fighting tools, such as vaccines and masks, are controversial in the United States, but health officials say rescue measures are needed.
“Leaving it to the individual means some people choose to put their colleagues at risk,” said Dr. Paul Offit, infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. “So I think it’s responsible, important and necessary.”
Even the most widely licensed companies are required by law to allow certain exceptions.
Lori Goler, vice president of human resources at Facebook, said the company, which has nearly 59,000 employees worldwide, is working with experts to implement processes for people who cannot be vaccinated for illnesses. medical or other reasons. “We will ensure a plan to return to the office,” he said. Prioritize the health and safety of all. “
The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents more than 800 employees of Google and its parent company, expressed concern about Google’s exceptions to its vaccine obligations and said the company had not provided enough details on the exemption process. A union spokesperson said there was a mission to “convince white-collar workers to return to office,” while “massive people” remained unvaccinated.
Google did not respond to the request for comment. Alphabet has employed more than 135,000 people worldwide since last year.
Other companies are facing a trade union reaction to the vaccine directive. The United States Food and Drug Administration, which represents Tyson’s 24,000 meat packaging workers, was fully approved by the FDA after Tyson announced last week that all 120,000 office and office workers plant had to be vaccinated. He expressed his reservation on compulsory vaccination.
“The UFCW will meet with Tyson in the coming weeks to discuss vaccine obligations to protect the rights of these workers and ensure this policy is implemented fairly,” said the UFCW international president, Mark Perone, in a statement. Said. Perone added that he wanted to make sure unionized workers at Tyson get the vaccine and get paid time off to adjust.
Earlier this year, United and its pilots union, the Airline Pilots Association, agreed not to implement vaccine obligations for around 13,000 airmen. United provided additional fees to pilots who received the vaccine and provided flight attendants with up to three days of vacation. The company said more than 90% of pilots and around 80% of flight attendants were vaccinated. The union said some airmen who would not be vaccinated should speak with the chief pilot.
“The vaccine requirements represent a change in employment which we believe requires further negotiations to ensure that our safety, well-being and bargaining rights are maintained,” the pilots’ union said. . I did.
Other airlines, including the United States, Southwestern and Delta Air Lines, have not changed their policies to encourage employees to get vaccinated, but said they did not mandate them. In May, Delta was the first major carrier to request vaccines from its new employees. United followed suit. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer vaccinated employees incentives such as overtime. According to Delta, more than 73% of its staff are vaccinated.
When asked how to meet potential company-wide requirements, Dennis Tajer, spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents approximately 15,000 pilots in the United States, said: As a A pilot’s bargaining agent, changes in terms of employment should be discussed with the delegation. However, the union urged pilots to get vaccinated last week, and staff estimate around 60% of pilots are vaccinated.
By making vaccination mandatory, the United States of America is acting in a way that federal lawmakers cannot, said Dritt Rice, professor of law at UC Hastings College. In addition to requiring vaccines from its employees, Reese said the federal government “probably does not have the power to say that everyone in the United States should be vaccinated or fined.”
However, insurance agents may suggest that Dr Elisabeth Rosenthal and Glenn Kramon recently did an editorial in The New York Times. In the model of denial of compensation for injuries sustained during hazardous activities, the authors argue that denial of vaccination poses a threat to public health and could lead insurers to launch “unvaccinated sanctions”. Indicates that there is. Rosenthal is the editor of Kaiser Health News and Kramon is a lecturer at Stanford Business School.
Professor Thomas Lenz of the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California said the company also has an equal employment opportunity commission. In May, the commission said companies would “vaccinate all employees physically entering the workplace” against the coronavirus, provided they are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He said he could ask.
Despite advice from the EEOC, Lenz said some companies still refrain from issuing powers of attorney for fear of alienating their employees.
“We find that employers are as concerned as they perceive a skills and labor shortage when deciding whether or not to require vaccination,” Lenz said. “And for this reason, employers don’t want to scare people off because they think they might be able to accept and retain the workforce in other ways.”
-CNBC Nate ratner Contribution report.