This post is another in our series of pandemic-related news updates and focuses on vaccine mandates and related news for employers and HR directors.

It’s been another tough pandemic year for employers. The hopes we had for a return to the workplace with vaccines hit a few roadblocks: first, the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, and second, a disappointing uptake on the part of a sizeable minority to get vaccinated. A high vaccination rate is essential in preventing surges in infection, as well as in preventing new variants from emerging.

Many workplaces that opened earlier in the year have been frustrated by repeated closures due to infections among staff. Plus, many workers are reluctant to return to a workplace if they don’t feel safe. Many large employers have either adopted hybrid models or have pushed office reopening off – anywhere from weeks to months. See: Why You Might Not Be Returning to the Office Until Next Year;

“In addition to Uber, companies including Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks have said they will postpone their return dates to next year. Executives say their rationale for the long delay is twofold: In addition to wanting to keep employees out of harm’s way, they are seeking an end to the roller coaster of anticipated return dates and further delays. The fits and starts make it difficult for employees to plan, and the hope is that a far-off return date will not need to be adjusted yet again.”

To increase vaccination rates which are so critical to any return to normalcy, employers and governmental bodies have enacted a variety of measures and policies to try to increase the vaccination rate among workers. These include:

To help you understand how these initiatives are faring, to learn more about any obligations you may have, and to offer information that will help you formulate your own approach and policies, we offer updates on many of these initiatives.

Are employment-related vaccine mandates working?

When faced with the choice of a vaccination or a paycheck, most employees are opting for the paycheck. Here’s a sampling of some of the results.

Are employer vaccine mandates legal?

While early results show that most employees accept vaccination in the face of potential terminations, many have joined forces to unite in challenging the legality of these mandates. Are legal challenges to employer mandates likely to win? Here’s a sampling of legal opinions and cases that have hit the courts already.


Employer guidance and helpful resources:

Prior HR Web Cafe related posts:


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