Navigating the Vaccine: Considerations Employers Should Keep in Mind

Author: Labor & Employment Group

Whether your business chooses to require the vaccine or allow employees to get vaccinated at their option, all employers are facing new challenges managing through this phase of the pandemic. Below are some considerations employers should be keeping in mind:

  • Continue to Require Safety Measures. The CDC continues to recommend employers require social distancing, face masks, and other safety measures in the workplace. While the CDC has indicated that fully vaccinated individuals can gather in small groups, it has not revised its recommendations regarding workplace safety.
     
  • Provide Resources for Employees. Many individuals are still having difficulty finding and traveling to vaccine appointments. Employers requiring or encouraging vaccination should consider what resources they can provide to assist employees with the process. Options include sharing local resources for appointment scheduling, providing time off, and providing other monetary incentives such as gift cards for employees who get vaccinated.
     
  • Consider Remote Work Options Moving Forward. With many employees working remotely for the first time during the pandemic, we anticipate greater demand for remote work moving forward. Employers should take time now to consider whether they will allow ongoing remote work once all employees can safely return to the workplace, and the potential implications for hiring and retention.

For more questions on COVID-19 vaccination policies in the workplace, please contact any member of our Labor and Employment team.

Chicago’s New Proposed Vaccine Anti-Retaliation Ordinance

On Tuesday, April 13, Chicago’s aldermen unanimously approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed new anti-retaliation ordinance. Under the proposed ordinance, Chicago employers would be prohibited from taking any adverse action against employees who take time off to get vaccinated.

Additionally, employers that choose to mandate vaccinations would not be able to require employees to get vaccinated during non-work hours. Instead, employees must be allowed to get the vaccine during working hours and must be compensated for the time to get the vaccine, up to four hours per dose. Employers may not require employees to use paid sick time to meet this requirement.

Employers without mandatory vaccination policies would be required to allow employees to take time off work to get vaccinated. Employees may use accrued sick leave for this purpose.