Since COVID vaccines hit the market and businesses have reopened, many employers have considered and implemented requirements that employees get the shot. Vaccine mandates are highly controversial; including President Biden’s mandate requiring 100 million Americans working for the federal government to receive the shot. The rules also require healthcare facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid dollars to have to be vaccinated—to name a few. Private companies have followed suit. How will these new rules, which seem to be expanding, affect staffing agencies that provide you with a ready-made workforce?
Guidelines Surrounding COVID Vaccines
As we write this, the latest mandates for the vaccine include:
- Employers with 100 or more employees will need vaccines or get a COVID test each week.
- Federal workers and contractors.
- Schools run by the government, such as Head Start.
- Workers in healthcare facilities that receive government reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.
- Anyone applying to become a U.S. citizen.
Some states are also creating their own rules around the vaccine, including opposing it. Some companies are also following suit by requiring employees to receive the shot. This includes:
- Southwest Airlines
- Tyson Foods
For staffing agencies, these mandates add an additional layer to the employment process as they send contract workers out to these (and other) companies). The American Staffing Agency had this to say, “The advent of COVID-19 vaccines added a new resource to employers’ toolkits to minimize the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-29 in the workplace.” They recommend the following guidelines to employers and their staffing agency partners to handle these issues properly:
- Provide clear, correct, and thorough information about the vaccine. Follow the CDC guidelines and use their COVID-19 vaccine toolkit to help educate your workforce.
- Share the vaccine benefits, namely, that the shot has been proven safe and effective in preventing and spreading the virus.
- Address any employee concerns about the vaccination directly with your workers. Employers should be mindful of anti-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act which “may require covered employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with a disability.”
- Hiring teams should take careful steps to avoid the collection of medical information. They should be trained to avoid vaccine-related questions which could influence a hiring decision.
- Remind workers that they can receive leave to have the COVID vaccine. Employers can receive a tax credit for employees taking time off to get the shot.
We’re here to help your business.
Staffing agencies are alert to these requirements and work closely with their employer/clients to prepare contract workers for any health-related requirements, from vaccine requirements to mask-wearing. Talk with our teams today about how we can supplement your hiring efforts.