More and more employers are mandating that their staff be vaccinated against COVID-19.
For example, the Washington Post’s publisher Frederick J Ryan Jr told its employees that the company has decided to require proof of vaccination as a condition for employment.
This mandate will come into effect in mid-September when the Post plans to reopen its offices. According to the New York Times, this move comes in response to employee concerns about emerging and surging variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Th requirement is for full time employees, as well as contractors and guests to the office. However, medical and religious accommodations will be made, according to Ryan Jr.
Ryan’s email said: “Even though the overwhelming majority of Post employees have already provided proof of vaccination, I do not take this decision lightly.
“However, in considering the serious health issues and genuine safety concerns of so many Post employees, I believe the plan is the right one.”
Ryan also used this opportunity to announce the Post’s return to office policy for September.
The newspaper will ask all employees to come into the office three days a week in the first phase. It is not yet clear whether they would eventually be required in the office five days a week in the future.
Saks and Morgan Stanley have also stated that they will require employees to be fully vaccinated when they return to the office. Like the Post, Morgan Stanley has also extended this mandate to guests to the office.
COVID-19 vaccine mandates are also starting to happen in HR tech space.
For instance, Justworks, a New York-based HR tech platform, has decided it “has a responsibility to support efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible”, according to a blog post written by founder and CEO Isaac Oates.
“Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon. The virus has continued to spread and mutate. More contagious variants are developing which threaten us. We have the ability to stop this by vaccinating our population,” wrote Oates.
Therefore, the Justworks team has decided to require all new hires after 31 July to show proof of vaccination, as well as for all employees to show proof of vaccination in order to enter its offices from 2 August.
Justworks will also incentivize employees to get a vaccine by offering team members with a one-time payment of $250 if they provide proof of complete vaccination by 31 August.
In addition, it has been reported that US President Joe Biden is considering implementing a vaccine requirement for all US federal workers, particularly as the Delta COVID-19 variant is surging.
According to the Guardian, they will be required to either be vaccinated or submit to regular testing.
Biden told journalists at a recent press conference that the vaccinate mandate is “under consideration right now, but if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not really as smart as I thought you were.”
These moves come after the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidance saying federal laws “do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19”.
In addition, a Texas federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by 117 employees of Houston Methodist over the about the hospital’s vaccine mandate.
The hospital had suspended 178 employees in April for failing to get fully vaccinated. Staff were warned if they did not get vaccinated during their suspension period then they would face the sack.