- Vaccine mandates are not a consideration for 83% of employers responding to law firm Fisher Phillips' recent pulse survey. That figure is up from January, when the firm recorded 64% of respondents saying they would not impose a vaccine requirement. At that time, 27% of employers said they had yet to decide if they would mandate vaccinations.
- Most employers — 75% — said they are encouraging workers to get their vaccines, the May 25 survey results revealed.
- Of the employers that aren't mandating vaccines, 32% said they're making that choice to avoid running afoul of anti-discrimination laws and 54% said they believe the employees that are willing to get vaccinated have already done so.
Employers appear to be more keen on encouraging vaccines than requiring them, according to Fisher Phillips' findings. It's also apparent that, for a third of the firm's more than 600 respondents, fears of infringing on anti-discrimination laws hold them back from making a mandate.
Fisher Phillips pointed out in its analysis that there's some irony in how these findings broke down. When the results were published, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — the agency that enforces the nation's anti-discrimination legislation — had indicated that employers could require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it had yet to make clear whether or how employers could incentivize vaccination.
That changed Friday, when the agency released long-awaited guidance greenlighting coronavirus vaccine requirements and incentives. The technical assistance outlined some limits, however. For instance: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers who do not get vaccinated for COVID-19, EEOC said. And while employers got the OK to incentivize vaccines, the agency set up some limits for employers that are offering the shots.