Can employers implement vaccine mandates?

Coronavirus Local Impact

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Whether you agree with them or not, more employers are using vaccine mandates to keep infections down.

It’s the same way with masks, for workers and customers alike, and that’s also the case overseas. The unvaccinated and under 12 age group being a motivating factor.

“I like the idea of it,” said Aviva Muhlman of Israel. “It’s something that is offered to us. In Israel they are really pushing it for young people who don’t’ feel like doing it.”

In Massachusetts, Governor Baker announced that it’s now mandatory for all nursing home employees to be vaccinated. The latest numbers show that just under half of skilled nursing home facilities, have less than 75 percent of their staff vaccinated.

At JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, most of their nursing homes workers are already fully vaccinated. They made the decision to implement a vaccine mandate earlier this summer, when the Delta variant began its rapid spread in the U.S.

“We see that there are variants, the Delta variant, which could lead to further outbreaks,” said Adam Berman, President of JGS Lifecare. “If we want to fully put down this disease, it’s going to require healthcare professionals rising to the challenge and having everyone vaccinated.”

Facebook and Google are two major employers now requiring employees to get the vaccine.

Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, employers can have a workplace policy that include “a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.” However, individuals can be exempt for medical or religious reasons.

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