Challenges US employers face in vaccinating workers

A sign warning about the use of masks appears at the entrance to the 42nd Street subway as cases of the delta variant continue to increase in New York City (Image: Reuters)

Employers in the United States Losing patience with workers who don’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

For months, most employers have resorted to media campaigns, bonuses, and other incentives to encourage their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. right Now, An increasing number of them are imposing rules that make life difficult for those who refuse to be vaccinated, from direct orders to ordering regular coronavirus tests..

Employers who take a tougher stance include Federal governmentAnd California and New York governments, the Tech giants Google and FacebookAnd The Walt Disney Company and NFL. Some hospitals, universities, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment establishments have also begun requiring their workers to be vaccinated.

But the new measures are unlikely to affect millions of Americans Not vaccinated.

Many companies that request vaccination have Most of them are workers who have already been vaccinated and who do not want to work alongside those who have not been vaccinated.

In contrast, large corporations that rely on low-income workers –Such as food producers, warehouses, supermarkets and other chain stores– Evasion of vaccination orders for fear of The dismissal of employees and the exacerbation of labor shortages.

For example, Tyson Foods said about half of its US employees, about 56,000 people, have been vaccinated after the meat and poultry plant has organized more than 100 vaccination events since February.. However, the company said it does not plan to force an order to vaccinate the other half.

Google is asking its 130,000 employees to get vaccinated to return to the office (Image: EFE)
Google is asking its 130,000 employees to get vaccinated to return to the office (Image: EFE)

Walmart and Amazon, two of the largest private sector employers in the countryThey also refused to require their workers to be vaccinated and continued to rely on strategies such as Rewards and access to on-site vaccinations. But in a potentially powerful sign, Walmart said employees at its headquarters will be required to vaccinate before October 4.

The biggest precedent to date comes from the federal government, the country’s largest employer. President Joe Biden Last week announced that all employees and federal contractors They must be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests and lose perks such as official trips.

The federal government said it would cover the costs of the weekly tests. For other employers, Insurance may pay for such tests in some workplaces but not others.

Biden’s decision It can encourage other employers Noting that they would be on a solid legal basis to enforce similar rules, said Brian Krupp, head of research for human resources practice at consultancy Gartner.

But Krupp said so Some companies face complex considerations beyond legality, including deep resistance to vaccines in many of the countries in which it operates.

Krupp added that retailers such as Walmart may struggle to justify vaccine requirements for their workers and allow shoppers to remain unvaccinated. Especially, Stores avoided vaccination requirements for customers for fear of alienating them and because of the difficulty of trying to check their status.

People frequent a restaurant as restrictions ease in Manhattan, New York (Image: Reuters)
People frequent a restaurant as restrictions ease in Manhattan, New York (Image: Reuters)

In Gartner surveys, Less than 10% of employers said they intended to vaccinate all employees.

But change happens amid frustration with Stagnant vaccination rates And warning of the spread of the most contagious types of delta delta.

Monday, America has finally reached Biden’s goal of giving at least one injection to 70% of American adultsBut a month later, amid a sharp increase, the number of hospital cases in some places has been pushed to its highest levels since the outbreak began. The president hopes to reach his goal by July 4th.

Union Square Hospitality Group, a group of New York City restaurants and bars he founded Danny Meyer, now requires employees and customers to be vaccinated before September 7.

San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance, a group of about 300 bar, a similar decision after a meeting “in which there was something special.” Anger and frustration ‘at the rejection of the vaccineFounder Ben Bleiman said.

While some companies fear vaccine mandates will alienate workers, The epidemic itself is causing absenteeism from work. Bleiman said he recently had to close his bar for one night after his bartender was fully vaccinated, The test result was positive and no alternative could be found.

A man receives a vaccine against COVID-19 during a vaccination event (Photo: EFE)
A man receives a vaccine against COVID-19 during a vaccination event (Photo: EFE)

Some employers have come to the conclusion that ordering vaccinations is simpler than trying to set different rules around masks and social distancing For a few unvaccinated employees.

BlackRock, Global Investment Manager, Only vaccinated workers are allowed into its US offices for now, and he said people would be free to go without masks., as permitted by local health guidelines, sit next to each other and meet without restriction. The company said 85% of its US employees have been vaccinated or are in the process of receiving them.

Hospitals and nursing homes, for example, increasingly require the vaccine. So far, those states have escaped legal challenges. More than 150 employees of the Houston hospital system who refused to receive a COVID-19 vaccine were fired or resigned after a judge dismissed an employee lawsuit over that requirement..

Atria Senior Living, who works more than 200 families A senior citizen nationwide, he was one of the first to order vaccinations for its staff in January.

It worked. Nearly 99% of Atria’s 10,000 employees have been vaccinatedOnly a small portion resigns above the condition, said CEO and President John Moore. “Our residents deserve to live in a pollinated environment. Our employees deserve to work in a pollinated environmentSaid Moore.

(with AP info)

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