Ask Sheri

Vaccine Mandates for Employees?

Dec 31st, 2020

Considering the COVID world, I’m looking for some guidance on whether we should be mandating   staff to get the vaccine or at least be asking our employees if they have received the vaccine yet?  What are other employers doing?  We have about 40 on staff, although some are seasonal.

Sheri's Response

This is a good question, as today’s situation is fluid and you may receive different answers relative to whom you speak with. While current regulations allow employers to decide whether they wish to impose a vaccine mandate within their business, they do state exceptions need to be made for both religious or medical reasons.  Employers also need to ensure consistent application if they decide to mandate vaccines for current employees or new hires. In our experience, we have yet to witness employers implementing a vaccine mandate, yet we do come across those who are opting to ask employees whether they have received the vaccine and then track the acknowledgment in employee records. The reasoning behind this tracking is that it allows an employer different quarantine options in the event of a positive coworker Covid test and necessary contract tracing.  As vaccines have become more readily available, a small percentage of employers are proactively partnering with county resources and offering onsite vaccine clinics as a benefit to any employee who chooses to obtain one.  One caution however, if an onsite clinic is provided, employers should be generating waivers.  These waivers are designed to prevent any employer liability, if any employee happens to experience vaccine reactions or other negative effects.