If staff avoids the COVID-19 vaccine - Albuquerque Journal

If staff avoids the COVID-19 vaccine

What can employers do if workers avoid COVID-19 vaccines?

They can require vaccination and fire employees who don’t comply, or take other actions such as withholding company perks or charging extra for health insurance.

Businesses for months have been encouraging workers to get vaccinated, in some cases offering incentives like time off or gift cards. But more are taking a harder stance and requiring vaccinations for any remaining holdouts, a push that has gained momentum since Pfizer’s vaccine recently received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Employers “feel like they’ve sort of hit that point where the unvaccinated are not going to do it unless there’s something significant making them do it,” said Wade Symons, a partner with Mercer, a benefits consultant.

It’s legal for businesses to require the shots, and they could fire employees who don’t comply. In other cases, workers might be required to wear masks or get regular tests for the virus. Some companies also are considering making the unvaccinated pay more for their health insurance.

At Delta Air Lines, unvaccinated employees on the company health plan will be charged $200 a month to help cover costs for possible COVID-19 hospital stays.

Symons said other employers will more likely add smaller charges of $20 or $25 per paycheck that might be refunded once the employee is vaccinated.

Employers might also restrict the use of office space, company gyms or business travel only for the vaccinated. In Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International has said unvaccinated employees will not be paid for time off to quarantine if they test positive for the virus.

Vaccine requirements will mainly come from businesses that need workers on a job site, Symons said.

Employers have to offer exemptions or accommodations from vaccine requirements for some who don’t get the shots for medical or religious reasons.

Walt Disney World and Ohio State University are among the large employers that said they’ll make vaccination mandatory since Pfizer’s shot was given the FDA’s full approval. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also has said that military troops must immediately begin to get the vaccine.

Some states like Montana have either banned employers from requiring vaccines or limited when they can issue such a mandate.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
J. Crew bids adieu to Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
J. Crew first opened its doors ... J. Crew first opened its doors for New Mexicans in 2012, according to earlier reporting, and specialized in men's and women's fashion.
2
NM tech firms awarded state matching grants
ABQnews Seeker
The NM SBIR grants are designed ... The NM SBIR grants are designed to support local science and technology companies in achieving their commercialization goals, according to a news release from ...
3
New ABQ lifestyle shop aims to offer Old Town ...
ABQnews Seeker
Retailer focuses on providing customers with ... Retailer focuses on providing customers with items ranging from small-batch printed cards to jewelry to beauty products made with New Mexican ingredients
4
NM car wash company acquired by national chain
ABQnews Seeker
Champion Xpress Carwash, a national car ... Champion Xpress Carwash, a national car washing chain, has acquired locally owned company Rain Tunnel Car Spa.
5
‘Long COVID’ spurring legal questions for employers
ABQnews Seeker
Part of the unfolding tragedy of ... Part of the unfolding tragedy of long COVID is that it could render a previously qualified person unqualified.
6
Borderplex statistics show major economic activity
ABQnews Seeker
Statistics by the Dallas Fed and ... Statistics by the Dallas Fed and CBP indicate what a major center of activity for trade, production and commerce the Borderplex region has become.
7
When deciding to change jobs, consider the long game
Business
Dear J.T. & Dale: I just ... Dear J.T. & Dale: I just accepted a new position and started two weeks ago. Today I got word that the job that I ...
8
$80M cancer center planned for Santa Fe
ABQnews Seeker
SANTA FE — A 72,000 square-foot, ... SANTA FE — A 72,000 square-foot, $80 million Regional Cancer Center will be built on the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center campus here, ...
9
Meow Wolf names new CEO
ABQnews Seeker
Meow Wolf has a new leader. ... Meow Wolf has a new leader. The Santa Fe-based arts collective announced that Jose Tolosa will become the new CEO. Tolosa worked with ViacomCBS ...
10
ABQ businessman tapped to head city department
ABQnews Seeker
Startup founder will lead Economic Development ... Startup founder will lead Economic Development Department