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Answers to Common Questions About COVID-19, from vaccinations to masks

Employers face several challenges in bringing employees back to traditional workspaces after this life-changing event. Employees may be anxious and fearful to return because of health concerns for themselves or vulnerable family members. They could now have complications with child or elder care that they did not previously. Some employees may simply prefer not having to commute to work every day.

Handling these issues with compassion and consistency is essential, especially given the tightening of the job market. Even in the best of times, failure to retain good employees meant a hit to the bottom line.

Here are answers to the most common questions we get from our small business clients.

Can we mandate all employees get vaccinated before they return? And if we don't, how should we handle vaccinated vs. unvaccinated worker populations?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently confirmed its position that private employers can mandate the COVID-19 vaccination for those employees without an ADA or sincerely held religious belief exemption. The real question is should your organization adopt a mandatory vaccination policy.

Leadership may think mandating the vaccine is the ticket to getting operations back to normal, but HR partners must present the pros and cons of forcing employees to take the vaccine. Arguably, mandating vaccination may result in a healthier workplace, but at what cost? Forced vaccination policies can:

  • Leave employees feeling resentful, undermining morale;

  • Result in turnover;