Businesses are justified for wanting their workers vaccinated


Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people are facing job unemployment, while those who remain in the labor force are finding themselves working from home.

As many are entering, or reentering, the workforce during these uncertain times, some are faced with the dilemma of whether they must receive the COVID-19 vaccination to work or to continue to work at their job.

Private businesses must act on the vaccination battle and enforce mandatory vaccinations on their employees since the government will not, but some places of employment may be able to get a pass.

It is understandable to express sympathy toward people like Bonnie Jacobson, a now former server at the Brooklyn restaurant, the Red Hook Tavern, who made allegations against her former employers that they fired her for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If people who read about her story put on their lawyer hats, then it is possible to see why the tavern would be correct.

The Brooklyn bar is a privately owned small business. Small businesses that are privately owned can make policies like mandatory vaccines.

If businesses are funded through government assets, then the business must adhere to whatever the federal government’s mandates are on vaccines in the labor force.

Jacobson made it clear that she is not against taking the vaccine, she just did not know how taking the vaccine would impact her chances to start a family with her husband.

For Jacobson, she wanted to do more research before jumping on the vaccine train, which is a completely understandable reason.

“I totally support the vaccine. If it wasn’t for this one thing, I would probably get it,” Jacobson said on Good Morning America.

The Red Hook Tavern’s owner, Billy Durney, did not comment on Jacobson’s termination but said that his establishment policies had been updated to make it clearer to employees how they could search for an exemption from receiving the vaccine.

“Once New York state allowed restaurant workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to put a plan in place to keep our team and guests safe,” Durney said in an email statement to The New York Times.

“No one has faced these challenges before and we made a decision that we thought would best protect everyone,” Durney continued. “And we now realize that we need to update our policy so it’s clear to our team how the process works and what we can do to support them.”

The fight over mandatory vaccines have always been a long yet pointless battle with no end in sight. Those who oppose vaccinations do not realize that vaccines protect not only themselves but those around them.

In a time when the world is at war with a relatively unknown virus, the creation of a vaccine is nothing less than a miracle. Mandatory vaccines in the recovering labor force would not be the worst idea.

In different job sectors where health takes major priority, vaccinations among employees are necessary. The travel, hospitality and culinary industries are prime examples on where employers should mandate vaccines.

Those are industries where an employee is in constant contact with people and involves being around food.

Places of employment introducing vaccinations rules are not going to be a surprise.

According to The Sun, there are no legal obstacles stopping businesses from creating these new contracts, although the new rules cannot be applied to existing employees.

“Introducing a contractual requirement for employees to have Covid vaccinations is a change in terms and conditions which employees would have to agree to,” Sarah Calderwood, a partner at Slater Heelis, said to The Sun.

“Without their expressed or implied agreement, employees are entitled to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal,” she continued.

Calderwood’s legal analyst of the vaccination clause is the ideal compromise. Since a vaccine mandate will be a new rule for a lot of establishments, it is only right to enforce on new employees and not long-time employees.

The only jobs that can be able to get away with not forcing employees to get the vaccine are jobs where the employees can work from home. Silicon Valley was at the forefront of allowing employees to work from home.

Overall, with a late vaccine rollout in the United States, places of employment must take action in order to have a smooth reopening period, especially in areas like New York City where beginning on Feb. 24 restaurants can increase indoor dining capacity to 35%.