President Biden announced Thursday that the Department of Labor will mandate that businesses with 100+ workers must require their employees to either get a COVID-19 vaccine or adhere to weekly COVID-19 PCR testing.
Regardless of how you feel about the COVID-19 vaccination or DoL mandate, your employees who have not yet been vaccinated probably don’t want to be vaccinated. And as a leader of your firm, you need to walk a fine line between respecting the preferences of employees and maintaining the health and safety of your company and the greater community.
If you are more than 100 employees, now is a great time to start setting protocols so that you are prepared to be compliant with the rollout of DoL’s updated OSHA standards.
Designate a point-person to organize vaccination verifications and weekly testing results. Many companies have a Return to Office (RTO) Committee or similar. With our customers, I typically see HR, Workplace, and Admin leads managing this process.
Pick a (systems) source of truth. You need at least one security system to store vaccination status or the weekly test results. OfficeTogether provides free vaccine tracking, which can be used with or without the desk reservation system. Good candidates: HRIS (e.g. BambooHR, Workday), your SSO provider (Okta, AzureAD, OneLogin), Envoy and your benefits provider (Sequoia, Rippling).
Develop a privacy-aware protocol for checking vaccinations and administering weekly testing.
Send out clear employee communications. It can be helpful to reference articles about the President’s upcoming mandate, to create some ethos. Employees might be more sympathetic if they know this isn’t “top-down” enforcement within the company but rather a nationally mandated effort. Here are example articles from NPR, NYT, and CNN.
Don’t be afraid to iterate. Your first protocol might be shaky so it’s a great opportunity to listen to employee feedback, build trust, and adapt the policy to meet employee (and employer) needs.
Interested in free vaccine tracking? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to keep your company safe and compliant.