The Vaccine Mandate Companies with 100+ Employees: How to Navigate Your Corporate Vaccination Solution
There is now a vaccine mandate officially in progress – and companies with 100 or more employees need to make sure they abide by these shifting guidelines.
The mandate – and how it affects these companies – remains a bit muddled in its current state. And coupled with exemptions, comorbidities, and other reasons people feel they can not get vaccinated, it can be confusing for you to stay within the rules.
Here is a brief guide to navigating your organization’s vaccine protocols and solutions:
General overview of the vaccine mandate
All in all, the new mandate covers over 100 million people who work in the private and public sectors. However, it remains unclear how many of these people are already vaccinated, so the actual number of people affected by the mandate is uncertain.
As with most bills, there is a lot to unpack to determine exactly what this means for your company.
The bill applies to three groups of employees: government workers, health care workers, and those working for companies that employ over 100 people. The largest group of people impacted are those in large companies. And though only 2% of companies are this large, they employ around 80 million people in total. For these larger companies, all employees will now either need to get vaccinated or face weekly COVID tests.
There are a few potential exemptions to keep track of. This includes those with compromised immune systems (who aren’t able to become inoculated) as well as those with specific religious or disability-related objections.
Penalties for noncompliance can be steep – up to $14,000 for each violation. So it’s best to make sure that your workforce is doing everything it can to follow the mandate.
How can businesses prepare?
The federal government indicated that companies have 75 days to comply or face repercussions. In order to avoid fines, leaders need to get a plan in place.
Ensure you have established a protocol for determining your employees’ vaccination status. The first thing you will want to do is determine who has already been vaccinated. The easiest way to do this is to have employees submit a copy of their vaccination card which would include the date they were vaccinated, the number of shots received, and the manufacturer. As with any medical records, it’s important that you take the utmost care in relative to HIPAA compliance to reduce liability.
Determine if you want to require vaccinations or allow for regular testing. Once you know your workforce’s vaccination status, determine the impact of mandating vaccination and/or COVID-19 testing. Testing can sometimes be seen as a financial burden, but with 20%-35% of cases currently coming from vaccinated individuals the risk of a significant percentage of your staff becoming ill, quarantined, or further impacted in other ways is not insignificant (e.g., long-hauler). Decide early on what protocols work best for your team.
Have a plan for keeping track of testing. If you choose to encourage regular testing for unvaccinated employees, or for the general population, you will want to make sure you have a system in place to keep track of processes and results.
You also need to make sure you’re ready for accommodation requests – careful consideration of each person’s needs is the best route to go here.
Prepare for OSHA. Lastly, you need to prepare for future complaints or inspections from governmental organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Make sure you continue to follow masking, sanitization, and other regulations. Additionally, it can help to train your staff on what to say when OSHA arrives for an inspection – this improves efficiency and saves your company costly fines.
While it’s unclear exactly how the vaccine mandate will unfold, it will be important to stay one step ahead. Preparation makes perfect, and you will want to ensure your team is ready for when the mandate takes effect or risk repercussions.
What obstacles is this mandate currently facing? Will it go ahead as planned?
Currently, there are several obstacles that may encumber the speed and reach of the mandate from taking effect. Legal challenges include the Commerce Clause (which some suggest is weak), the burdensome or discriminatory nature of the requirements, the availability of exemptions, and the question of antibodies (e.g. I’ve had COVID-19, why would I need a vaccination”) as a defense against the mandate.
While it is fairly obvious the Biden administration doesn’t believe these legal options will prove successful, Brian Dean Abramson, a leading expert on vaccine law, told Business Insider “My anticipation would be with the initial challenges, we’re not going to see a suspension of this rule”.
Thus, while there are obstacles that may hinder the mandate from taking effect, you should take a proactive approach to the issue. Either way, it’s best to be prepared and start investing in COVID monitoring management sooner rather than later.
Best-in-Class Solution: A COVID Monitoring & Management Platform
A best-in-class approach includes the combination of:
A customer-centric vaccination monitoring and management platform (flexible enough to accommodate your unique protocols)
A seamlessly integrated high-accuracy testing platforms to ensure the safety, security, and confidence of your team.
Here at AllClear Healthcare, we’re a CLIA certified and HIPAA-compliant provider that offers such a solution.
How Does our Covid Monitoring & Management Platform Work?
So, how does it work?
Here are a few of the key elements of our corporate vaccination solution:
Vaccination Upload and Attestation is Digital: Provides the ability to upload vaccination documentation from anywhere, with automatic attestation. Enables reminders, and follow-up to aid in keeping up-to-date with boosters.
Risk Mitigation: Keep Patient Health Information (PHI) separate from employee information to ensure HIPAA compliance. This will get your team up and running in just a few days.
Trusted COVID-19 Testing Results in Minutes (FDA EUA approved. 30-minute PCR and 12-min ultra-high accuracy PCR-equivalent test run-times).
Mobile Testing Platform: Testing services available on-site at your workplace, making testing as convenient as possible for your team – small footprint or via our mobile sites.
Mobile Corporate Passport: Provides a visual representation of who is vaccinated and unvaccinated right on your phone. Provides your own corporate instance.
Compliance: We get your organization into compliance rapidly – we can get you online in just a few days.
Integrated: Seamlessly integrated vaccination and testing protocols on the same HIPAA compliant digital platform for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
HIPAA Compliant: Privacy is important, and our platform is HIPAA-compliant when it comes to personal health information (PHI).
Flexible to your protocols: We align with your protocols.
All in all, we have come a long way in our struggle against COVID with innovative technology, and processes. The vaccine mandate offers an important step to enabling forward-thinking organizations to effectively and efficiently manage to the new normal.
AllClear Healthcare can help your organization adapt and flourish – safely, securely, while minimizing risk.
We recognize compliance can often present challenges – we are here to help you along the way.