With Pfizer approval, will more employers require COVID-19 vaccine?
Now that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has full FDA approval, some Connecticut workers are wondering how long before their employers require them to get the shot.
President Joe Biden called on employers to put more requirements in place during remarks Monday from the White House.
"If you're a business leader who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you to do that now, require it,” he said.
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Labor attorney Eric Brown says whether or not more businesses require the vaccine may depend “on where your boss stands on those political and philosophical issues.” He says the law isn't going to help you sidestep that kind of requirement without a medical or religious exemption.
"They don't even have to name the religion, but if they have a sincere belief, the employer should go to pretty great lengths to provide an exemption,” he said.
State and federal officials still say getting as many people vaccinated as possible is still the best way to end the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say workers who are still hesitant may have a little more leverage than they think.
"Anytime an employer wants to get something from an employee, or vice versa, that's fertile ground for negotiation," says Brown.
Brown says in a labor market that favors employees, vaccine hesitant workers may be able to suggest alternatives, such as getting tested, wearing a mask or periodically working from home.
He expects some companies will allow that kind of plan B option rather than losing skilled workers.
"If the employee comes to the table with those ideas and suggestions, and they're a valuable employee, the employer is probably going to want to consider those options,” says Brown.
Officials say more than 74% of Connecticut residents over the age of 12 are already fully vaccinated.