Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate stay order: What should be the next steps for US Employers?

Federal Employee Vaccine Management

As the year 2019 was coming to an end, horror was unleashed on the entire world in the form of COVID-19. None of us could have imagined the magnitude of destruction and disruption it would cause in the next 2-3 years. We witnessed a worldwide lockdown where offices, educational institutions, public places and other work premises were closed down, and we were forced to work remotely. Remote work – a term that was used by companies as a perk became a new reality. All of us struggled to get used to this remote work culture and companies worldwide felt the heat in the first few months.

With the development of the vaccines, there came a hope that we would soon see the end of this pandemic and return back to our normal lives. And to ensure the population was vaccinated, governments across the world introduced some policies and regulations for vaccine management. The US government was no different, especially since the US recorded the highest number of COVID cases and consequent deaths.

The OSHA Vaccine Mandate 

US President Joe Biden gave an  OSHA vaccine mandate which is a federal employee vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to ensure vaccination of their workforce. Under this vaccine mandate, employers were asked to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated, regular vaccination status checks, weekly COVID-19 tests and masks for unvaccinated employees. The Biden government had set February 9, 2022, as a deadline for nationwide enforcement.

How are US employers reacting to the stay order on Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate

However, the US Supreme Court put a stay on this mandate on January 13, highlighting that the state and local governments have jurisdiction over matters related to public health. Which means though the federal employee vaccine mandate has been put on hold,  American states and cities can make their own vaccine policies. Same applies to US employers who can adopt or make their own vaccine rules, as a result of which we will find many companies looking in different directions with respect to vaccine policy making.

Many of them were either preparing to meet the OSHA mandate deadline or had already set up policies to ensure the safety of their employees. Others were simply relieved with the decision, since it would have meant an additional investment of time and money. They also felt mandatory tests and vaccination could contribute to their employee churn rate.

“Some companies will continue to enact vaccine mandates because their city, like New York, has a mandate, or just because that’s what they want to do. But the bulk of companies’ reactions will see this news as ‘Great, we don’t need to enact a vaccine mandate anymore.’,” Boston employment lawyer Walter Foster told CNBC.

What Does The WHO Say on COVID-19 Pandemic?

The magnitude of the damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years, both in terms of lives lost and resources destroyed, is unparalleled. We witnessed heroic stories of our frontline workers, who gave their best and beyond to keep us safe and comfortable during the lockdowns.

And it would be a poor way to repay their efforts to neglect necessary safety measures to ensure a smooth and safe return to normalcy. While many experts are stating that the COVID-19 is no longer a pandemic and can easily be called an endemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has asked us not to become complacent, ensure necessary actions to check the disease transmission and to popularize vaccine acceptance.

Vaccine Management By US Employers

Many companies in the US and worldwide have already imposed their vaccine policies and mandates, and they are likely to continue with those. United Airlines and American Airlines are among the companies that have enforced vaccine mandates and have benefited from them.

“In dealing with COVID, zero is the word that matters — zero deaths and zero hospitalizations for vaccinated employees. While there are 3,000 United workers now infected with the virus, zero of our vaccinated employees are currently hospitalized,” said Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines in his open letter to his employees.

Even American Airlines claim they have the hospitalization rate among their employees is 100 times lower than the general population. So even though the Apex court has barred the federal mandate, it is still imperative for the businesses to track and manage the vaccination status of their employees. This will have long-term benefits for both employers and employees.

In fact, having a vaccine policy as an employer has seen a direct impact on the vaccination rate of the workers. In a recent survey conducted by Insurance Journal, employer vaccine requirement led to a 20% increase in worker vaccination uptake. About 95% of workers with an employer vaccine requirement were vaccinated and 75% of workers without a requirement were vaccinated.

Why You Need A Vaccination Management Solution

Now the challenge for the companies is to activate the vaccination management of their employees, who are gradually returning to the offices. There are many administrative, operational, logistical, and technical hurdles for an employer to successfully set the process to check the health status and vaccine certificates of their employees.

We, at Oloid, are simplifying this cumbersome process with a simple and secure solution to check the vaccination status and transmission risks posed by the employees, before they enter through the office doors.

Oloid’s Vaccine Management solution allows you to integrate the vaccination status of your employees with your access control system, which means you can set rules based on their vaccination status and their test results. You can automate the entire process using Oloid’s AI-enabled app, without disrupting the employee experience or putting your other employees at risk. The employee access badges are scanned at the entry points and are notified with real-time alerts if found not in compliance with the health regulations and mandates.

Our vaccine management solution not only keeps your employees safe and you in compliance with the government mandates, it also highlights you as an employer who cares for their team.

In case you want to know more about Oloid’s Vaccine Management solution, you can write to us at info@uatoloidai.wpengine.com.

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