Job or Vaccine: More and More People are Facing a Choice

30.08.2021 / 16:59

Following the official full approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19, announced last Monday by US health regulators, more and more large US companies are starting to demand mandatory vaccinations for employees and even their customers, informs AFP.

CVS, Chevron, Disney, and Goldman Sachs have introduced requirements for all or some of their employees to provide proof that they have been vaccinated.

Since June, Morgan Stanley Bank and asset manager BlackRock, several large business groups have dared to change their tone and move from recommendations to obligation.

Google, Facebook, and then Uber have officially banned incompletely vaccinated employees from entering their offices.

But the unconditional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 seems to have unleashed things. Many people were reluctant to be vaccinated justified in part the vague status of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which until then had only emergency permits for use in the United States.

But after the approval, President Joe Biden also called on employers to do the same and ask their employees to get vaccinated if they do not want to be severely restricted. In late July, the head of state offered federal officials a choice between vaccination or mandatory sanitary restrictions and regular testing.

Social media users accuse companies requiring compulsory vaccination of violating individual freedoms in a country for which they are a core value.

However, no celebrity has openly confronted a company or "corporate America."

“The lack of criticism of the companies is due to the fact that most of them acted responsibly in managing the pandemic, especially by introducing telecommuting en masse,” said Mark Haas, a professor of communications at the University of Arizona.

At the same time, many other companies have not yet taken this step. American Airlines, for example, strongly encourages its employees to be vaccinated but has so far refused to make it mandatory. However, the airline gives the vaccinated an extra day and 50 dollars

On Tuesday, its competitor Delta Air Lines announced it would introduce an additional 200 dollars a month health insurance premium for unvaccinated employees. According to the airline, this will compensate the financial risk for the company from the decision of individual employees not to be vaccinated.

Large employers such as the online retailer Amazon, the Home Depot and Target stores, the FedEx couriers, and UPS are not yet talking about mandatory vaccinations. The Walmart retail chain only required employees at its headquarters to be vaccinated, not those in its stores and warehouses.

Experts are unanimous that the legal risks associated with such a mandatory measure are minimal, even if it leads to dismissal.

In May, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the obligation to provide proof of a vaccine did not constitute a violation of U.S. labor law.

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