WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some companies are trying to figure out if they can require the coronavirus vaccine before employees return to work.
In a recent poll by the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, more than 70% of current or recent CEOs from major companies said they were open to requiring vaccines.
However, some states are introducing legislation that would prevent companies from mandating it.
The warning from the White House and health officials is clear.
“We can’t afford to let our guard down. We are so close. So very close,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With 16% of the country fully vaccinated, companies are planning their “back to work” strategies.
In Wisconsin, the state legislature is trying to stop all employers from requiring the vaccine.
Zach Brandon, from the Madison Chamber of Commerce, calls it counterproductive.
“That limits our ability as employers to adapt and provide safe workspaces,” he said.
In at least 27 states, lawmakers have introduced bills that would prevent employers from requiring vaccinations.
Many of those bills have been denied.
Even if some companies do mandate vaccines, proving it may be difficult.
According to the CDC, an employer can’t force an employee to provide medical information as part of their vaccination proof.
“You either didn’t get the vaccine, or we don’t know. And we’re going to treat that as the same thing,” said human resources professor Jirs Meuris.
Some companies are offering bonus pay and extra time off for those who get the vaccine.