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09/10/2021

President Biden's New Vaccine Plan Gives Some Guidance To Business Leaders

Yesterday, President Biden unveiled a plan requiring vaccination for workers of companies with greater than 100 employees or submit to weekly testing.

One of the most difficult problems for companies to tackle during this pandemic, among many, was the ever-changing and sometimes conflicting directives from local, state, and federal agencies. Even with the inevitable challenges, this plan gives some guidance to HR teams and business leaders who for 18 months have been attempting to implement policy that is consistent with government regulations and makes sense for their organizations.

The majority of employers have simply been encouraging their teams to get vaccinated, knowing a vaccinated workforce would significantly reduce the chances of outbreaks and, therefore, work stoppages. The political climate surrounding vaccines made it difficult for employers to mandate them, as no company wants to get into the crosshairs of political activist groups or alienate their team members.

A growing share of companies began to implement vaccine mandates after major U.S. employers, such as Google and Walmart, rolled out their own, but it was clearly not enough, as cases of Delta spiked across the country.

While many companies will challenge the plan in courts, many others will likely let out a sigh of relief as they can stop trying to create and implement constantly-shifting COVID vaccine policies.

Besides legal challenges, the plan may exacerbate the labor shortage, as workers opposed to vaccines opt to find new positions. Other companies, perhaps, may attempt to employ fewer workers to bypass the plan. However, that may be difficult for job seekers, since it limits their prospects, and many companies are already working with too few people.

Ultimately, the plan’s aim is to create a safe work environment for employees, which is a top priority for so many of the nation's business leaders.

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