New fear: Finding and keeping workers is the new vaccine mandate

Large businesses are also concerned about President Joe Biden’s new federal vaccine requirement. With almost everywhere there is help wanted, many could lose their valuable employees or not be able find replacements.

Biden announced sweeping new orders Thursday that will require employers with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 or offer weekly testing. Although the new rules could impact as many as 100,000,000 Americans, it is not known how many are still unvaccinated.

Chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Mark Zandi says that the mandate for vaccines could help boost the economy.

He stated that there is evidence from all countries that more vaccinations mean fewer deaths, hospitalizations, and infections. This in turn leads to a stronger economy.

Even those who support Biden’s decision to stop the coronavirus spreading further fear that vaccine-averse workers or job seekers will not apply for their positions. Others may choose to work in smaller companies that don’t require shots in the arm.

Jonathan Chariff, CEO, South Motors, said that it is difficult to find workers in a tight market. He also stated that it was hard to retain current employees. South Motors has 12 dealerships in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and employs more than 1,100 people. It’s simple for them to find another job.

The mandate may make some employees more comfortable in working together in tight spaces, which is a good thing. Chariff stated that his company supports Biden’s move and wants all employees to be vaccinated, especially since two people died from the virus. The company decided not to require them due to the labor shortage. Chariff currently has between 80 and 100 open positions.

Karl Wadensten is the CEO of VIBCO Vibrators in Richmond, Rhode Island. He was an early advocate of temperature checks, weekly virus testing, and masks at his manufacturing company. However, he fears that he might lose his employees if he forces them to get the vaccines.

Wadensten’s company produces industrial vibrators for use in dump trucks and other applications. He said that he was waiting to hear more about the Biden orders. His business has very few government contracts. Wadensten’s workforce hovers just below 100, with about 85% of them vaccinated.

He said, “For the other 15% it would be detrimental their beliefs and values that we have.”

However, smaller businesses see exempting themselves as an advantage. Crater Lake Spirits CEO Alan Dietrich in Bend, Oregon is experiencing staff shortages. There are 36 employees, and he has an immediate need for two to three more.

He said, “It is beneficial for hiring to be left out of this mandate.” “We still find that there is a significant number of vaccine-hesitant people in our region. Staffing is so difficult that even one person can be important to us.”

He said that the positive test results make the business more vulnerable to slowdowns and shutdowns. He said that a mandatory Oregon state mask mandate “definitely helps to keep our staff safe.”

Since Thursday’s announcement, the Associated Press has reached out to a variety of companies. General Motors and Ford both said that they support vaccines, but are still analyzing the executive orders. Others pointed out that they are already required to get vaccines.

Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, was the first to require vaccinations for its workers. Its headquarters are located in Bentonville, Arkansas. Managers who travel within the U.S. should be vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than Oct. 4. It did not include front-line workers like cashiers who, according to the company, have a lower vaccine rate than management.

Tech has been a major player in vaccine requirements. This makes it a likely supporter for Biden’s policy. Google was one of the first U.S. employers that decided all employees needed to be immunized before they could return to work in July. A few hours after Google made its strong stand on vaccines, Facebook adopted a similar policy.

Angela B. Cornell is a Cornell Law School clinical professor who focuses on labor and said that mandates are a positive move for businesses.

She said, “This shift will make a lot of employers it easier to push those individuals who were on the fence or have been opposed.”

She said that companies won’t need to worry about being sued because it’s a mandate from the government and not an employer.

Biden’s order states that millions of federal employees and contractors will not be able to opt out of getting tested. Large companies are required to offer paid time off for vaccinations.

People who don’t work as federal contractors or are afraid of the vaccine may opt for weekly testing. However, many people who are hesitant about getting immunized are more likely to do so, according Dorit Reiss, a professor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, who has been studying vaccine mandates for almost a decade.

She said, “The testing is sufficiently difficult that most of them would rather just be vaccinated.”

Half of American workers favor of vaccine requirements at their workplaces, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. These mandates are already gaining momentum after the full approval by the Food and Drug Administration of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available with emergency authorization but have not been officially approved.

Cole Stevenson is an assembly worker at Ford’s Dearborn pickup truck plant, Michigan. He said that the requirement was a “huge excess” by the government. Cole Stevenson has not been vaccinated, and is worried that vaccines have been released without being tested properly.

Stevenson said that “they just haven’t done as much” as they should to put it into people now. He plans to have his blood tested every week rather than getting vaccinated. “I don’t trust it.”

In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in the U.S. were found to be safe and remarkable effective against the worst outcomes of the illness in clinical studies involving tens or thousands of patients and their actual-world performance.

Although more than 177 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, confirmed cases of the disease have increased in recent weeks. The average number of cases is now around 140,000 per day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus causes approximately 1,000 deaths per day. Johns Hopkins University reports that more than 650,000 Americans have died of the virus since January 2020.

Britton Durbin is a utility worker in Dunnellon Florida who has been vaccinated. He said that mandates are necessary to ensure workers are safe and that the power company he works at can continue operating without interruption due to illness. Although his company has not yet mandated vaccines, he has encouraged them to do so. Three of his colleagues died from COVID-19 in the past few months.

Durbin, 32, said, “It’s reassuring to know that my coworkers have been vaccinated.” “There is less chance that they will get sick or die.”

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