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No jab, no job. Big problem.
The Vatican has told employees that they may risk losing their jobs if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination without legitimate health reasons.
A New York City waitress says she was fired from a popular Brooklyn restaurant after choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine for fear it might hurt her chances of getting pregnant.
Workers at a leading British plumbing firm had been told they would lose their jobs if they didn’t agree to being vaccinated, but the firm was forced to stage a U-turn as experts questioned the legality of this requirement.
Pimlico Plumbers, which employs more than 400 people, announced in January a “no jab, no job” policy for new staff members. A spokesperson for the company told Insider that “vaccines are a way out and we have to use them as much as possible.”
Barchester Healthcare, which owns more than 200 care homes in the country, has said it won’t hire new staff who refuse to get vaccinated on non-medical grounds, the FT reported.
I am sensing a pattern here. Companies the world over are forcing the issue of vaccines on their present day and future employers. The effects are pretty undeniable, when employers force workers to get vaccinated, vaccinations go up. This was discussed in a NBC report a few years ago when 50 healthcare workers refused to get a flu shot. Here are a few notable quotes.
But vaccination rates are low, and even among healthcare workers, only around 65 percent get flu vaccines every year, the CDC says. Requiring the vaccine gets those rates up, protects patients and causes no harm, Schaffner said.
When employers require the vaccine, the CDC found, 85 percent of workers get one. Just 43 percent get vaccinated if there is no policy. Several states, including California, require hospitals to make flu vaccines mandatory and to record and publish their vaccination rates. Maryland has a searchable database telling people a hospital’s vaccination rate.
Minnesota doesn’t require this but Essentia said it started the mandatory policy to protect patients.
Further down in the article it reads:
Now, Essentia employees must either be vaccinated or go through a process similar to school enrollment requirements: they must apply for a medical or religious/philosophical waiver. The requests are reviewed by expert committees.
The debate then verses the debate now is essentially safety outweighs liberty. Flu shots that have undergone a rigid and established procedure of testing and trials is quite different, in my opinion, than vaccinations created at warp speed. I do not think that companies are thinking through the ramifications of these actions. What if someone who takes a forced vaccine becomes ill? Who do they sue for damages, assuming they survive the damages? Well, not the company who produced the vaccine. At least, not according to CNBC. Check out this quote from a very provocative December 17, 2020 headline.
Prepare yourself for a shock.
If you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law. The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines.
“It is very rare for a blanket immunity law to be passed,” said Rogge Dunn, a Dallas labor and employment attorney. “Pharmaceutical companies typically aren’t offered much liability protection under the law.“
You also can’t sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment.
Congress created a fund specifically to help cover lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses for people who have been irreparably harmed by a “covered countermeasure,” such as a vaccine. But it is difficult to use and rarely pays. Attorneys say it has compensated less than 6% of the claims filed in the last decade.
If that sounds outrageous to you, blame Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar who invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing critical medical supplies, such as vaccines and treatments, unless there’s “willful misconduct” by the company. The protection lasts until 2024.
Now, I am NOT a legal expert. I am only speculating. I think that companies the world over are making careful considerations based on local laws and considering the ramifications. I imagine the consequences come down to 3 major concerns:
- If I force vaccines on workers and they get ill and/or die, will anyone want to work for my company?
- If I force vaccines on workers and they get ill and/or die, will people boycott my company out of moral outrage?
- If I force vaccines on workers and they get ill and/or die, would someone be able to prove that I enacted “willful misconduct” and put me in jail?
The first 2 points, no one really knows today because it is too early. However, the third point is already being considered in the court of public opinion. Several Governors forced COVID infected patients into nursing homes and roughly half of all COVID nursing home deaths were in states run by those Governors. If those Governors are prosecuted, could a parallel be made for employers? Again, I’m not a lawyer, just asking the question.
Thankfully, the HR department is approaching more cautiously, at least here in the USA. The Society of Human Resources Management has been all over this since the COVID era began. They interviewed legal experts back in December 2020. Here’s a quote from their article, “What Employers Can Do If Workers Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination.”
“Rather than implementing mandates that could lead to such difficult decisions, employers may wish to focus on steps they can take to encourage and incentivize employees to get vaccinated,” [Brett Coburn, an attorney with Alston & Bird] said. For example, employers may want to:
Develop vaccination education campaigns.
Make obtaining the vaccine as easy as possible for employees.
Cover any costs that might be associated with getting the vaccine.
Provide incentives to employees who get vaccinated.
Provide paid time off for employees to get the vaccine and recover from any potential side effects.
Kevin Troutman, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Houston, also suggested offering incentives before adopting a hardline mandatory vaccination policy.
“Communicate clearly and often with employees and help them understand how vaccinations will make for a safer workplace,” he said. “Lead by example and ensure that management takes the vaccines first.”
Overall, sounds like good advice to me. However, I am cynical. So, I would advise any and all workers to read the fine print on any employment contracts. If vaccines are mandatory, ask a lot of questions? What happens if I get sick because of the vaccine? What if I can no longer work as a result of taking the vaccine? Do you offer a healthcare insurance benefit to compensate me in that instance? How many of the leadership have been vaccinated? What if the vaccine I am being forced to take reacts negatively to the other meds I am taking? Will I be compensated in those instances? And can I have these answers in writing for future reference? I mean, since I am literally putting my very life on the line. And… well… you get the picture. No company wants to needlessly increase legal liability. If they choose to anyway out of a sense of political correctness, give them reasons to reconsider. Sigh.
Can you guess how I feel about the issue?
Want more on this topic?
- Can Employers Order Workers To Get a COVID-19 Vaccine? [Updated]
- Do I have to be vaccinated to work here?
- No jab no job? Big Brother Watch debates Pimlico Plumbers boss