We all thought that we were turning the corner, and then Delta showed up. The COVID Delta variant has overtaken the United States and is proving to not only be more infectious than the original variant, but more dangerous as well. Infection rates are spiking again and that cycle we thought we had broken has returned to wreak havoc on our lives.
While governments throughout the world have instituted various programs to cajole and incentivize vaccination, the plans established to appeal to people’s intelligence, hearts, desire for self-preservation, and duty to community seem to have not been enough. The new variant, if the preliminary reports hold to be true, is the tipping point. The EEOC set the table for what was to come next, announcing on June 1st that employers can require COVID-19 vaccinations.
In response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant and associated statistics we are seeing as a result, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, and 54 other medical associations announced that they support vaccination mandates for healthcare workers, essentially affirming the position of the EEOC and throwing their support for a push to get everyone, at least at medical facilities, vaccinated.
What has happened next is that private companies have taken that leap forward ok’d by the EEOC that most state governments have refused to yet take…they are mandating vaccination for many, if not all, their staff and new hires. The list of companies that have made this assertive move to protect their workers and customers to date are Netflix, Disney, Google, Blackrock, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Washington Post, Ascension Health, Lyft, Uber, and Twitter. The list is growing fast day by day.
Many of you are likely wondering if this is both legal and a smart move to take. The more important question really is this, is this move right for you? It might be. If you have a private enterprise, you are mandated by OSHA to practice due care to protect your employees and customers from harm. A highly contagious and dangerous disease falls within that category.
To address this question, you have to identify your risks and put in place a COVID Prevention Plan, as is mandated by Cal-OSHA (for those of you in California). This plan may include a mandate for vaccinations.
For more information about EEOC’s COVID-19 regulations and what to do next, please click on the following link, https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws or contact us at 866-476-2123 or by sending us a message via our Contact page.