Last month, President Biden announced an upcoming rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate that all employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be tested weekly. Employers are required to give their employees paid time off to get the vaccine and recover from its side effects, or else be subjected to a $14,000 fine per violation. Although some employers are opposed to this vaccine mandate, most are wondering how to prepare for it.
Here is how to effectively handle and prepare for the upcoming vaccine mandate:
Employers should do their best to communicate and inform their employees about the vaccine mandate without taking a political side. Vaccines have become a polarizing topic, especially within the last year. Keeping a neutral tone when communicating with employees will help relieve tension and encourage those with strong opinions to avoid intense arguments with their coworkers. Additionally, employers should tell their employees as soon as possible, explain the reasons for the mandate and be clear about the consequences for not complying. In a situation when jobs are on the line, communication is critical.
A legal vaccine mandate requires legal preparation, ranging from drafting a vaccine and testing policy to determining whether your company is affected by the vaccine at all. Those who have less than 100 employees, non-government contractors, and non-healthcare organizations may not be required to abide by the rule, but they should begin thinking about what to do if they are required to in the future. Those who are required to comply should draft a vaccine and testing policy, accommodating for those with a disability or religious exemptions and determining whether they are a federal government contractor or not.
As we have seen over the last year-and-a-half, the COVID-19 virus changes and adapts over time, such as the development of the Delta, Mu, and other variants. In response, the government has to try and keep up with those changes as fast as possible, so employers should also be on their toes and ready to adapt to any legal changes that might occur. Paying attention to the government and reliable sources of information regarding COVID developments will keep employers prepared for any surprises. Communicate with the HR department and develop responses to potential upcoming changes.
ClearStar and COVID Vaccines
Employers may need to continue testing their employees if they decide to do weekly testing for those who are unvaccinated or suspected of having a breakthrough case. Suppose an employer needs to test an employee for COVID. In that case, ClearStar provides a CRL Rapid Response™ kit — a saliva-based molecular diagnostic test — to determine whether the virus is active or not. The results are available within 24-48 hours, on average. Keep in mind that all COVID-19 screening results must be kept confidential.
To place an order for a COVID-19 test, contact the ClearStar Medical Information Services office at 321.821.3383 or [email protected] To ask about background checks and other medical screening services, call +1.888.982.4648 or visit https://www.clearstar.net/contact/.