President Joe Biden gave a gift to every major company in America by forcing them to mandate vaccines or stringently test their employees for Covid. Their reaction to the new rule: glee.
“While many companies will challenge the plan in courts, many others will likely let out a sigh of relief,” said John Challenger, CEO of outplacement services company Challenger Gray & Christmas. “One of the most difficult problems for companies to tackle during this pandemic, among many, was the ever-changing and sometimes conflicting directives from local, state, and federal agencies.”
“The majority of employers have simply been encouraging their teams to get vaccinated, knowing a vaccinated workforce would significantly reduce the chances of outbreaks and, therefore, work stoppages,” said Challenger. “The political climate surrounding vaccines made it difficult for employers to mandate them, as no company wants to get into the crosshairs of political activist groups or alienate their team members.”
What it means for small businesses
Although the Biden administration’s vaccine rule doesn’t apply to small businesses, it could give some of them cover to mandate vaccines as well. Some smaller companies may have worried about losing vaccine-hesitant workers to a Costco (COST) or Walmart if they mandated the vaccine. Now that may no longer be a risk.
But the rule could also exacerbate America’s labor shortage, Challenger argues. Some vehement anti-vaccine workers may move to smaller companies that look to take advantage of their exclusion from Biden’s new order. Other mid-sized companies may lay off some workers to get under the 100-employee cap. That could limit some job-seekers’ prospects.