August 16, 2021
If anything has become apparent in the age of COVID, it is that a global illness can and will become politically weaponized. While politicians wage a battle over restrictions and mask mandates and vaccinations, it has left the rest of us wondering who was really
watching the henhouse in light of a potentially fatal virus. Fortunately, corporate America has stepped into the void and taken the lead.
Taking a Highly Considered Approach
Without many directions from those at the top, businesses have become the adults in the room. Most corporate American and business leaders understand the need for more of their employees to get vaccinated, especially with many coming back into the office. But
they also understand the reality they are up against with a significant percentage of those employees who may be reluctant to do so. Incentives and bonuses have been implemented by some and outright requirements by others.
Whatever Keeps the Doors Open
While most companies have given it a great deal of consideration, they also understand that neither strategy is foolproof. Essentially, they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the doors open. But nobody is quite sure how best to do that. While mandates
seem clear for some, other companies believe that mandating vaccinations will simply backfire for them. But they also realize with the recent surge of the highly contagious Delta variant, there is potential for it to sweep through their employees.
Currently, the fully vaccinated rate in the United States hovers at about 50 percent. The rate with one dose is currently at more than 58 percent. With so many that are not vaccinated for personal or other reasons, companies realize that vaccine mandates may cause them to lose employees in an already competitive market. Consequently, some companies have decided to mandate vaccinations only for workers coming back into the office, but not hourly workers.
Not Just For Employees
For everyone who was welcoming the tentative normalcy that we were experiencing during the first part of the summer, those hopes have been dashed. With the CDC recently reversing course on mask recommendations, businesses are now returning to mask mandates for customers as well. Some are even requiring proof of vaccination for customers to come inside. While this reversal was something nobody wanted, we have learned the hard lessons. What businesses want less than mask and vaccine mandates
Business Leading the Way
Fortunately, what we see now is business leading the way, not waiting for marching orders from legislators. While some business leaders expressed support for vaccination requirements earlier in the year, few of them were willing to implement them due to polarizing public opinion. They now understand the implications firsthand and are willing to move in the best way possible for their situation. While the political pundits can argue all day pushing and pulling to suit their objectives, business leaders forge forward with more direct
approaches and directives with an eye on two things: their bottom line and their employee’s welfare.
While good news and bad news seem to coexist uncomfortably these days, the international law team at Bukh Global will be listening and watching to see what economic impact, both here and globally, COVID and the new Delta variant will have on us in the weeks and months to come.