Tech companies are among those taking the lead following federal guidance on vaccine mandates.
A survey released last week by Gartner indicates 46% of U.S. organizations aim to institute a vaccine mandate for employees when legally permissible.
The survey polled 272 legal, compliance and human resources executives nationwide following President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring federal employees and some contractors to be vaccinated by Nov. 22.
Approximately one in three executives were not sure whether their companies would institute vaccine mandates, and 17% said they would not. Yet the survey indicates firms—led by many Fortune 500 companies and numerous large tech companies—are changing their attitudes toward vaccine mandates following continued federal guidance.
“The new federal guidance, as well as the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta wave, have combined to shift executive opinion on vaccine mandates significantly since the beginning of the year,” Chris Audet, senior director, research, in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice said in a statement. “It is likely that we will see a clear majority of firms instituting mandates of some kind by the end of the year, considering that 36% of respondents are still unsure of their organization’s plans.”
Updated guidance from the White House Safer Federal Workforce Task Force to federal agencies Tuesday shifted to a stricter tone. Although initial guidance allowed for some religious and medical exemptions for vaccinations, new guidance indicates agencies may still fire employees with exemptions if those employees hold certain positions where safety protocol would not offer sufficient protection. Related surveys suggest a majority of government employees support vaccine mandates and a growing sentiment among vaccinated American workers that unvaccinated peers pose safety risks.
Tech companies have been among the most aggressive in imposing vaccine mandates. Cisco, Deloitte, DoorDash, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, SalesForce, Twitter and Uber have all publicly announced their vaccination plans, among others.
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