Whether your business is requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine — or just encouraging them to get it — we have policy templates for you.
After a year of incalculable difficulty, COVID-19 vaccines have promised to usher us into the new normal. But without vaccinating enough individuals to reach herd immunity, a number Dr. Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, puts between 70-80% of the population, the pandemic shows no signs of ending soon.
For employers — required by law to provide a workplace free of known risks — the question of mandated COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace is a tricky one. Vaccines protect you from severe illness from COVID-19 and may help protect those around you, yet hesitancy abounds.
In a Workest survey of 1,000 small business owners and employees, 64% of employees who have not received the vaccine yet said they don’t want to receive it. At the same time, a December 2020 survey by CNBC found that 57% of employees would like to see a mandatory vaccination policy in their workplace. Complicating matters further is the fact that some employees may seek exemption through reasonable accommodation from a mandatory vaccination policy on the grounds of medical contraindication or sincerely held religious beliefs.
For business owners struggling with how to protect their employees and themselves, there is no *right* answer on a vaccine policy. Employers should work with their HR teams and legal counsel to determine the right policy for their workplace.
“Any HR memo to employees in the organization must be sure to respect the rights of the individual and to determine the applicability of the mandatory vaccine policy to not infringe on a person’s religious beliefs or another legally valid justification,” said David Reischer, attorney and CEO of New York-based legaladvice.com.
“Any HR memo to employees in the organization must be sure to respect the rights of the individual and to determine the applicability of the mandatory vaccine policy to not infringe on a person’s religious beliefs or another legally valid justification.”
Mandatory and voluntary vaccination policies
We’ve created 2 vaccination policy templates to help you communicate your workplace’s policy to employees. You can edit the documents below and make necessary modifications to reflect your business’ needs. If your business will be requiring the vaccine, download template 1. For businesses that are encouraging employees to get vaccinated without mandating it, download template 2.
Please note: The following templates are meant as guidance only and should not be adopted without review from legal counsel.