The release of the COVID-19 vaccine came as welcome news for employers. With it, however, employers will now confront myriad new questions about how the vaccine will affect workplace terms and conditions. The foremost question across all sectors has been simple: Can and should employers mandate that their employees get vaccinated? While issuing a mandate may seem appealing, doing so creates a variety of both legal and practical risks that, for many businesses, may militate in favor of a voluntary compliance program.
Faced with this reality, many employers have begun exploring incentive-driven voluntary programs, including offering additional PTO, gift cards, and even cash “bonuses” to employees who provide proof of vaccination. While such a voluntary system avoids many of the pitfalls of a mandatory system, it also carries its own complexities and risks in an already complicated and unsettled area of law. This post examines some of those risks while also highlighting the unique uncertainty surrounding this emerging issue.
Continue Reading Managing the risks of incentivizing COVID-19 vaccines for employees