From Texas to Florida to Montana, state Governors and legislators are trying to get ahead of the federal government's final drafting of vaccine mandates for large employers.
Through executive orders banning these mandates and pleas to state legislatures to pass more enduring laws, several states are staged for a showdown with the federal government. Nevertheless, while this face-off is headed to the courts for resolution, several large employers are already weighing in.
Both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have already stated they will proceed with the vaccination mandates. The two Texas-based carriers believe the federal mandate supersedes Republican Governor Greg Abbott's barring of COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any entity, including private employers.
So how will Arizona employers respond? We posed that question to over 250 Arizona employers. Here are the results.
Questions and Responses From Our Survey
With nearly a 50% response rate to our survey, here's what 123 Arizona employers told us about their future plans regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates, testing options, and medical premium incentives and/or surcharges.
It's worth noting that this survey was conducted just days before President Biden announced plans for a new vaccine mandate, which admittedly might have altered our survey results had we fielded it after the announcement.
Send a copy of these results to your inbox!
Q1: Vaccine Mandate: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for your employees?
Q2: Vaccination Incentive: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a COVID-19 vaccination incentive for your employees
Q3: Vaccination Penalty: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a vaccination penalty for your employees who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
Q4: Testing Mandate: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a COVID-19 testing mandate for your employees who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
Q5: Premium Incentive: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a premium incentive for employees who are vaccinated, who are enrolled in your medical plan?
Q6: Premium Surcharge: Have you (or are you planning) to implement a premium surcharge for employees who aren’t vaccinated, who are enrolled in your medical plan?
Many Employers Await More Details From OSHA
The results from our survey indicate that a majority of employers aren’t planning to issue vaccine mandates, testing mandates, incentives, or surcharges. Regardless, roughly a third of employers are leaving the door open to such actions in the future.
While OSHA officials are not willing to provide a specific timeline for the issuance of their "emergency temporary standard" (ETS), it's widely believed that the ETS will not apply to fully remote workers. It's also expected that the standard will not address how employers implement or enforce their specific vaccination policies.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation closely and provide updates as we learn more.