What Do New Mask Rules Mean for Company Vaccine Mandates?

“I don’t know if it will solve that in the long term,” said Mr. Gigante from Proskauer Rose. “But I think that’s what we talk to people and customers about.”

Requiring tests before an employee can come to work does not fully protect other employees from contracting the disease. The accuracy of the tests varies and the results relate only to the time the tests were run. The more frequent the tests, the more informative they are. Mr Gigante said he hears most often from companies that run tests twice a week, although some situations, like a movie set or a courtroom, may require daily testing.

Some companies may not want to bother with the considerations associated with such a program – like the cost, the need to figure out where and how to do the tests, and the headache of keeping track of the results.

“Logistics and cost have made it less likely for employers to rely on them as a route, but as testing becomes more available and cheaper, employers see testing as a good protective layer,” said David Schwartz, who heads the working group at the Skadden, Arps law firm , Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Laura Godfrey in Saugatuck, Michigan, is curious about the relationship between vaccinations and employee health insurance plans. “Companies have focused on wellness to a certain extent,” she writes. “So asking about a vaccine seems sensible.”

“It’s definitely something that a lot of employers are concerned with,” said Emily Zimmer, a partner who specializes in employee benefits at the law firm Troutman Pepper.

This is especially the case with companies with established wellness programs, she said. For example, if a company is already rewarding employees who receive annual flu vaccinations, it will be easier to do the same for employees who are receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

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