Corporations mandate, incentivize vaccination
Every week, Tyson Foods’ poultry division holds a $10,000 raffle for employees who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. Since the company announced a vaccine mandate in August, its compliance rate has risen from 50 percent to 80 percent. Other companies are starting terminations for employees who did not get vaccinated by certain deadlines. United Airlines revealed in a staff memo on Tuesday that it fired 600 employees for failing to comply. That accounts for less than 1 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce. Novant Health, a North Carolina–based company that runs 15 hospitals, has a 99 percent compliance rate with its vaccine requirement but still fired roughly 175 employees. President Joe Biden’s federal mandate will affect roughly 100 million Americans in private sector, healthcare, and federal contract positions.
Do workers have alternative options? Delta is making it costly for unvaccinated workers. Any employee on the company’s healthcare plan who refuses to get the COVID-19 shot will face a $200 monthly surcharge. New employees must show proof of vaccination before starting work. The Biden administration said it would allow religious and medical exemptions as long as those exempt get weekly tests. It has not clarified who will pay for the testing. American Airlines and Southwest have not offered weekly testing alternatives, and pilot unions warn holiday travel will be disrupted if the companies fire pilots without giving other options.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about a recent Florida ruling against vaccine mandates.
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