U.S. President Joe Biden recently announced a new rule from the Department of Labor that will require all companies with 100 or more employees to ensure each worker is fully vaccinated or can show a negative Covid-19 test at least once a week.
Businesses will have to pay out of pocket to test any employees who don’t want to get vaccinated. A rapid Covid-19 test costs $75 USD and the more accurate PCR test costs $150 USD – per person, per test. Companies can also require employees to pay for tests themselves and will be required to offer paid time off for people to get vaccinated.
Requiring workers to be vaccinated as a condition of employment may be legal, but it’s also controversial. Vaccine mandates can spawn lawsuits. And what about the right a person has to control what goes into their body? And let’s not forget about the millions of employees who may revolt. Lewis County General Hospital, in Lowville, NY, just announced it will temporarily stop delivering babies after Sept. 24, thanks to a spate of resignations by maternity unit workers who are objecting to vaccination mandates.
Jill, What Can I Do? If you have more than 100 employees, decisions have to be made. Will you pay for employees to be tested who do not want to be vaccinated? Will you fight lawsuits or settle out of court? How will you respond to employees who turn on you for not pushing back? How will you handle a potential mass resignation? These are all real questions facing HR departments, managers, and leaders thanks to this sweeping, controversial decision. I wish all of you luck as we navigate the new normal.