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Vaccine Mandates Push for Even More Labor Shortages Across North America
November 15, 2021
Vaccine Mandate Complications Prompt Ongoing Labor Shortages in the USA
Vaccine mandates across North America have complicated ongoing labor shortages in several industries, challenging employers during this economic rebound. With complicated directions coming from federal and local authorities, vaccine mandates can be challenging to navigate and implement within your workforce.
In the early fall months of 2021, President Joe Biden ordered close to 100 million federal employees, including private and public healthcare workers, to be vaccinated. But push back from state-level politicians, and unhappy workers have caused a flood of complications among workforces and business owners. “Help wanted” has been a common theme across almost every industry, and vaccine mandates are poised to worsen labor shortages as employers attempt to find a balance between economic bounce back, protecting their workforce, and respecting an employee's decision not to get vaccinated.
The Six Most Important Vaccine Mandate Questions for Employers
Find answers to common questions related to vaccine mandates and labor shortages tailored to business owners.
1. What Does the American Vaccine Mandate Mean for Business Owners?
According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all private employers that maintain a workforce of over 100 employees must require their employees to be fully vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test result once a week.
Many employers in the healthcare industry will require their employees to be fully vaccinated to come to work, including hospitals, retirement homes, clinics, and surgical settings.
2. Will Vaccine Mandates in North America Worsen Labor Shortages?
Yes. Vaccine hesitant candidates might not rejoin workforces if vaccinations against COVID-19 become mandatory. The American government has the constitutional power to issue emergency standards that maintain safe workspaces with vaccine mandates to protect the health and wellbeing of Americans. The result may be increased labor shortages, absenteeism, walk-offs, and labor strikes.
3. What Are the Consequences of Not Implementing Vaccine Mandates for My Workforce
Unvaccinated workers can spread COVID-19 to other employees, causing sudden shutdowns of your business, or worse, sickness or death.
In public healthcare settings, emergency provisions made in the Occupations Safety and Health Act reserves the right to withhold federal funding should vaccine mandates not be implemented.
4. Can an Employer Terminate an Employee for Not Getting Vaccinated?
Yes. Employers can require that workers be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment with the caveat that medical and religious exemptions are allowed. In certain circumstances, if an employer cannot accommodate an unvaccinated employee, it may be grounds for terminating the employee.
5. Will Vaccine Mandates Complicate Negotiations with My Workforce’s Union?
Potentially. A change in working conditions for a unionized workforce is likely to require a union and employer to agree to these changes during negotiations. However, the pandemic has resulted in many unions losing their right to bargain over specific health and safety requirements in the workplace, giving the employer the ability to mandate things like face masks and vaccines.
6. Vaccine Exemptions
Employers are faced with the difficult task of determining if a request for a religious or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine is valid. State-level vaccination bans and mandates complicate matters further, with some states claiming their laws overturn federally issued vaccine mandates.
Employers should expect ongoing complications related to vaccinating their workforces and balancing their duty of care obligations to their employers.
Address Vaccine Mandate and Labor Shortage Complications with AFIMAC
AFIMAC is suited to address complications related to strikes, labor negotiations, walk-offs, absenteeism, and worker shortages in any industry impacted, big or small.
AFIMAC can address long-term strikes or labor shortages with temporary workers across multiple industries by maintaining a directory of highly skilled laborers. These temporary workers provide a solution to challenges related to your supply chain or industry, helping to ease issues of absenteeism that have arisen post-pandemic.
Find solutions to other complex issues during these difficult times, including worker strikes, union negotiations, labor disputes services, vaccine mandates, and executive protection services.
Contact us directly to learn more about available services and address the challenges related to labor across North America.
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