November 27, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Incentivized COVID-19 Vaccination Policies In The Workplace

If you run a business with employees, chances are you’ve been thinking about the COVID-19 vaccines and the advantages they could pose for your company. You can have a safer workforce, boost productivity, improve morale, and salvage your bottom line with an entire in-house staff. As great as this sounds, however, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around the vaccinations, and the level of control employers should have on their staff. 

Still In The Early Stages

Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated it was alright for business owners to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, there are some limitations. For starters, there are no laws etched in stone backing employers who take this approach. Secondly, individuals who are rightfully exempt due to religious practices and disabilities can file a complaint if they violate their rights under the American Disabilities Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII. 

Encouragement Seems Best

Since most companies aren’t willing to take the legal and financial risks of mandating vaccines across the board, they’ve decided to offer incentives. Giving employees some form of compensation for getting vaccinated seems innocent enough. It also seems like a small price to pay for your employees’ health and wellness. 

Why not do like other companies and offer a few bucks as a cash bonus or paid time off for employees to get the vaccines? After all, it seems like an effective way to make sure your business survives in 2021.

Until It Isn’t

Remember, there aren’t any clear laws or guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine mandates or incentive programs. As time goes on, however, companies could run into issues that leave them with financial and legal ramifications. Let’s say you offer your employees $150 to get the vaccine and show proof. Later on, an employee has an adverse reaction to the vaccine and files a complaint. 

Although you didn’t force them to get the vaccine, they may have felt like they had no choice if they were hard up for cash. If the law agrees that your incentive was too much or coercion, you could have to cover everything from the employee’s time out of the office to their medical expenses due to the adverse reaction to the vaccine. 

Discrimination

Coercion isn’t the only thing you have to worry about with a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program. There’s also discrimination. As stated above, certain employees are exempt from getting the vaccine. If you start handing out incentives to everyone else, they could feel as if they’re being left out or discriminated against. Unfortunately, your intentions won’t matter if they file a complaint. It’s how your actions did or didn’t violate their rights. 

It Can Get Costly

Another thing about COVID-19 vaccine incentives is that they can get expensive. Let’s say you’re a startup company. You’re ready to hire employees to get your business off the ground. Along with the background check for the job, submitting a resume, and scheduling an interview, you offer each qualified candidate a cash bonus to get the vaccine before their start date. Depending on how many new hires you need, you’re looking at several hundred, if not thousands of dollars in incentives. 

The same is true if you’re an established business. Paying 50 employees or more $100, 2-4 hours in paid leave, or $50 for transportation costs is going to add up quickly. If this isn’t something you budgeted for, you’ll have to dip into your reserves or go into debt to compensate everyone. 

It’s excellent that COVID-19 vaccines are available as a means to stop this life-threatening disease in its tracks. It’s also great that business owners have a right to choose how to protect their employees and work environments. Be that as it may, this is all too new to make a rash decision. Without proper guidance or iron-clad laws in place, employers should think long and hard about whether an incentivized program is something they want to implement at this time. If so, just ensure you’re prepared for whatever repercussions may come your way.

in HEALTH
Related Posts

34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The 34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach, a benefit for the LGBTQ Center Long Beach and other local providers returned...

New Documentary Pays Tribute to Transgender ‘AIDS diva’ Connie Norman

October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

A new documentary titled “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” will pay tribute to the transgender leader in AIDS...

Marathon Runners Heading To WeHo

October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

Runners in the 2021 Los Angeles Marathon presented by Asics will be making their way through the City of West...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Opens New Facility In South Los Angeles

October 15, 2021

October 15, 2021

Los Angeles LGBT Center has opened a new facility in South Los Angeles to serve the health needs of LGBT...

AIDS/LifeCycle Kick Off Ride

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

AIDS/LifeCycle is kicking off it’s 2022 training season to end AIDS on October 16th.  Riders can sign up for the...

WeHo To Support Cleanup and Wildlife Rescue Efforts After Orange County Oil Spill

October 7, 2021

October 7, 2021

The City of West Hollywood Activates ‘West Hollywood Responds’, a program to encourage donations to support cleanup and wildlife rescue...

WeHo to Recognize October as Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month

October 7, 2021

October 7, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has announced that it would recognize October as Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence Awareness...

24-Hour Fitness WeHo Location Closing

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

24-Hour Fitness in West Hollywood, popular to local residents in the WeHo area, is set to close on November 30th...

MS-13’s Stronghold On MacArthur Park And Transphobia

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

MS-13, a vicious street gang, continues its stronghold on MacArthur Park making it unsafe for many who visit but specifically...

Jonathan Van Ness Offers His Services As A Life Coach

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness who identifies as non-binary has teamed up with Skillshare to host a virtual class...

California State To Outlaw “Stealthing”

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

California could soon become the first state to outlaw “stealthing”, the vile practice of removing a condom during sex without...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Trying To End Blood Donation Discrimination

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is doing its part to end blood donation discrimation against gay and bisexual men.  According...

AltaMed Health Services to Host “Inclusion Beyond Pride: A Queer Art Show”

August 5, 2021

August 5, 2021

AltaMed Health Services, will host “Inclusion Beyond Pride: A Queer Art Show” on Friday, Aug. 6, 6-10 p.m. in Los...

PReP, The HiV Prevention Pill, Free

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Insurers have been advised that they shouldn’t be charging for Truvada and Descovy as HIV prevention and that associated clinic...

WeHo Heat Alert For Pets

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

The City of West Hollywood reminds human caregivers of canine companions and feline friends that high-heat days can be extremely...