Vaccine Mandates Gain Steam as Walmart and Disney Require Shots
Recent court rulings have upheld employers’ right to require vaccinations, including a ruling that the Houston Methodist Hospital may require healthcare workers to be vaccinated. And a series of governments at various levels have imposed their own mandates. President Biden announced Thursday that all federal civilian employees must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and restrictions on most travel.
Daily business briefing
“Once you get a little bit of momentum, you get kind of a tidal wave,” said Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, who was a member of Mr. Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board during the transition from presidential administrations. He advocated employer mandates, saying they could help the country achieve collective immunity. He suggested that the companies waited for “the other guy to do it and then everyone piled in.”
The highly contagious Delta variant also showed that the coronavirus is not yet finished disrupting business decision-making. Executives hoping for a return to some degree of normalcy faced a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday that even vaccinated people should resume wearing masks indoors in parts of the country.
“It’s just a management level nightmare,” said Mary Kay O’Neill, partner at Mercer, a human resources consulting firm. “And they say, ‘OK, let’s just get the shot.’ “
As companies considered the spike in infections, they also revisited long-awaited plans for a return to power.
The New York Times Company has indefinitely postponed its scheduled return to the office on Friday. The company, which employs about 4,700 people, had scheduled the return of workers, at least three days a week, in September. Its offices will remain open for those who wanted to enter it voluntarily, with proof of vaccination.
Earlier this week, Lyft postponed his return to power until February. Uber and Google both postponed their planned return to October and said vaccines would be required to enter the office, and Twitter has closed its San Francisco and New York offices, halting plans to reopen.
Katie robertson contributed reports.
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