As our Nation’s economy reopened & outings have returned after more than a year of isolation, the Covid-19 case count has been peaking as of recently, with the recently discovered Delta variant making headlines. In an attempt to manage the situation some Fortune 500 corporations have begun mandating vaccinations. AT&T & United Airlines, just to name a few, recently announced they will require employees to take the shot.
In response to the vaccine mandates put in place by many private corporations and government agencies, many employees have begun wondering if such action is legally justified. In short, yes. Employers reserve the right to require employees to be vaccinated, as this qualifies as a condition of employment, similar to a job qualification.
In recent news, Chevron (NYSE: CVX) has caused controversy, as it has rolled out a COVID-19 vaccine mandate applicable to some employees, new hires, and expatriates working internationally. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the American Oil giant is considering expanding its recent vaccine mandate to its 47,000 plus workforce, but the company is yet to release a public follow-up address.
The company has rolled out this initiative as a measure to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19, and the recent Delta variant in the U.S.
The U.S. has a total of 36,727,846 active Covid-19 cases, per Google News as of mid-August. Driving the latest wave of Coronavirus cases is the highly contagious Delta variant, accounting for 80% to 87% of all U.S. cases through the end of July, per Science Magazine.
Like Chevron, many Fortune 500 companies have decided to impose strict vaccine mandates and other anti-Covid measures, to ensure a smooth return to in-person work, and the safety of employees. In recent news, Delta Airlines announced that it would be charging unvaccinated employees an additional $200 in monthly health insurance premiums, to account for potential COVID-19 infections, recently driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. Forbes reported that over 100,000 coronavirus hospitalizations could have been prevented by vaccination in June and July, these hospitalizations cost the U.S. healthcare system roughly $2.3 billion. Given the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccines, and the high cost of related hospitalizations, many other corporations may also want to limit their health insurance liability, this could take the form of vaccine mandates, insurance premium increases, etc.
Even in these critical times, the United States stands divided on the issue of Covid-19 vaccinations. In a recent article, Forbes reports that Roughly 50% of Gen-Z employees would quit if their colleagues are not vaccinated. That figure is much lower for Millennials and Gen-X employees, at 40% and 36% respectively. On the other hand, the article also states that “About 44% of workers said that they would consider leaving their jobs if they were forced to get their shots.”
With a 63.5% 14-day case increase in the U.S, seeing as though businesses, schools, and leisure facilities have returned to in-person assistance, is likely to increase the number of Covid-19 cases domestically. Whether or not Chevron’s employee vaccine mandate is effective, will be determined as the coming weeks progress and the company keeps the press updated.