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Biden's vaccine mandate gives employers cover when implementing vaccine requirements

Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

Insurance giant Zurich North America will act once it reviews forthcoming guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force and a rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, spokesperson Jennifer Schneider said in an emailed statement.

State Farm Insurance also does not have a vaccine mandate for employees and on Friday the company indicated it’s taking the same wait-and-see stance as Zurich. “Right now our protocols remain the same until we learn more,” State Farm spokesperson Gina Morss-Fischer said in an email.

Food service giant US Foods does not currently require vaccinations.

“The health and safety of our associates and customers remain our top priority,” the company said in a statement. “We will review the executive orders and related OSHA requirements to determine the appropriate next steps.”

While vaccine and mask mandates have become politically polarizing, WeatherTech’s MacNeil believes preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a good business practice that should cut across party lines.

 

A Republican megadonor who contributed $1 million to President Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, MacNeil said he was among the first to be vaccinated in November 2020 as a participant in the Johnson & Johnson trials. He called the results “nothing less than amazing” after staying COVID-free, despite repeated exposures to people who tested positive, including his own employees.

MacNeil’s biggest concern about the Biden vaccination mandate is that it doesn’t go far enough.

“Do employees in companies with 99 or less employees not deserve to work in the same level of safety as employees of larger companies?” MacNeil said. “The sooner all of us are vaccinated, the sooner we can all get back to normal life and business here in America.”

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