More jobs require vaccination as a qualification


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If you want to get a job at Leslie’s, a pool and spa retailer with more than 900 stores across the country, you must be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The company, which employs more than 5,000 people, has never made the policy public, but job seekers will find it among the demands.

Leslie’s is one of a growing number of employers who now require proof of vaccination from job applicants, in addition to usual qualifications such as education and experience. Most, like Leslie’s, say they will make exceptions for health and religious reasons.

After the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine this week, such warrants are expected to become more common. This creates uncharted territory for employers and job seekers, with privacy, politics and health interfering in the already intense process of filling – or landing – a new job.

The share of job postings requiring vaccination from new hires has nearly doubled in the past month, according to job search site Indeed. (These, however, remain a small fraction of the overall lists.) LinkedIn “explores new ways” for job seekers to find out more about the vaccine needs of companies, said Suzi Owens, spokesperson for the site. .

Companies develop vaccination policies for new hires as well as rules for their existing employees, and they are not always the same. Many employers are willing to impose stricter guidelines on applicants – Leslie’s requires vaccinations for all new hires, but not all existing employees. Making vaccination a requirement for getting a job might encourage those who are reluctant, or it might further reinforce the class division, as vaccination rates drop largely based on socio-economic criteria. (Or both.)

Corporate vaccine mandates have divided the country. In a recent Gallup poll, 52% of workers said they were in favor of mandates (36% “strongly”), compared to 38% who opposed (29% “strongly”). Even companies that don’t need vaccines are making it increasingly difficult to stay unvaccinated: Delta Air Lines said this week that unvaccinated employees would be required to pay an additional $ 200 per month to stay on the plan of the company’s health, from November. These changing and increasingly stringent policies will inevitably become a more common feature of job interviews.

Checking the immunization status of job seekers “takes a lot of time and resources for employers, unfortunately,” said Dr Neal Mills, chief medical officer of professional services firm Aon, which already advises companies on their work. options. There is a “continuum” of ways to verify a person’s status, he said, from simple attestation to proof of vaccination on an app that syncs with Centers for Disease Control databases. and Prevention.

If unvaccinated candidates apply for jobs that require office time, even occasionally, “some companies say they just aren’t able to hire them for the job,” said Dawn Fay, district president at New York for the recruiting firm. Robert Half. She has also worked with companies that tell unvaccinated applicants that “you’ll be at a distance for as long as you can,” but subject to testing, masking and distancing rules if or when they make it to the office.

And it’s not just a company’s vaccine policy that recruiters need to consider. Goldman Sachs announced this week that it will require proof of vaccination for anyone entering its U.S. offices. This affects customers, contractors, and others who do business with Goldman, as well as companies with similar policies.

Goldman declined to say whether he plans to ask applicants for their immunization status in job interviews, or whether that status would be a factor in hiring decisions.

Companies that now require vaccination of job seekers run the gamut.

Ormat, a Nevada-based energy company, requires vaccination for a job as a welder. The National Football League says it’s mandatory for a freelance seasonal art director job. Good Relations, a “lovers shop” in California, requires him for a salesperson position.

Melinda Myers, chief executive of Good Relations, said the requirement was in part a response to the high infection rates of Covid-19 in Eureka, where the retailer is based.

“Our hospitals are full,” she said. “There are a lot of anti-vaccines at the farmer’s market. And then we also have conservative politicians who are anti-vaccine. And I don’t want any of these people to work for me.

She did not require proof of vaccination for her six employees, who she said were all fully vaccinated. “I know these people well enough to know that they were telling me the truth,” Ms. Myers said. But she will check the status of new hires “because I don’t know them,” she said.

Job seekers who oppose vaccination mandates have started to tailor their searches accordingly. Conservative social media website Gab launched a No Vax Mandate job site, which had around 31,000 members on Friday. An employment website called Red Balloon started last month to “connect employers who value freedom with employees who value it too.”

“We are taking a stand against this trend towards compulsory vaccination,” Red Balloon founder Andrew Crapuchettes said in a YouTube video. “In today’s tight job market, there are good companies with a strong work culture who want to hire dedicated employees, regardless of their healthcare choices.

Stephen Gare, a network technician in Florida, started a group on LinkedIn for employers and unvaccinated people to connect. “I am concerned that there may be a lot of people who do not want to be vaccinated and who would be looking for a job,” Gare said.

Mr Gare, who is not vaccinated, is not currently looking for a job but may have to do so if his company implements a vaccination mandate, he said. “I would do whatever it takes to live without getting the vaccine,” he said.

It is legal for employers to require vaccines for current and new employees. And labor lawyers say companies are allowed to take vaccination status into account in most countries when selecting job applicants, even if no formal mandate is in place, as the vaccination status is not protected by the United States Disability Law. But they could still be plagued by litigation or face political opposition as some states adopt measures to restrict or ban vaccination mandates.

“You are going to see that people’s career paths will be impacted depending on their status,” said Ian Schaefer, partner at Loeb & Loeb law firm, specializing in labor issues and advising companies on their Covid policies. “And so far that’s totally admissible.”

The biggest obstacle to vaccination mandates in some industries is the labor shortage. Few large retailers, for example, have announced warrants for frontline workers for fear of mass departures. And as companies brace for the vacation rush, tenure for new hires is also scarce.

Walmart will offer vaccinated employees in its stores the same $ 150 it gives current employees who get vaccinated, the company said, but it will not require applicants to be vaccinated in order to get jobs. A spokesperson for Target said the retailer would ignore vaccination status when selecting candidates.

Having a candidate’s immunization status match an employer’s policy “is part of the screening process,” said Amy Glaser, head of outsourcing at recruitment firm Adecco. She estimates that one in three calls her recruiters in Jacksonville, Florida, a Covid hotspot, sent from candidates included questions about vaccination policies. But with corporate policies changing so rapidly, a company’s position at the start of the hiring process can change at the end.

Gabriela Elliott, who works for the San Diego County Government, looks for other jobs as she prepares for the end of her temporary position. She was looking for a professional position, in any industry.

“I’ll take whatever I can get on full-time benefits,” she said.

While Ms Elliott does not intend to list her fully immunized status on her resume, she can bring it up in conversations with recruiters if the time feels right.

“In an interview, I think maybe I could slip it in,” she said, “yes, you know, I thought that could make a difference.”

What do you think? Should companies require new hires to be vaccinated? Let us know: [email protected].


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