(The Center Square) – Some Connecticut employees who have been loyal to their employers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic say they are ready to walk off the job thanks to a private sector vaccine mandate put in place by the Biden administration.
The mandate, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration temporarily suspended enforcement of after a federal court halted it, requires federal contractors and U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees to require their workers be fully vaccinated.
Employees who are not vaccinated must be subject to COVID-19 testing each week and wear masks under the mandate.
"While businesses want to see steps towards getting the pandemic behind us so that restraints on personal and business life can be lifted (mask-wearing, social distancing, etc.), businesses do not want to be put in the middle of implementing and enforcing like the current mandate does," Chris DiPentima, president of Connecticut Business and Industry Association, told The Center Square.
In some instances, employees are seeking other positions where the vaccine mandate wouldn’t affect their employment.
"Businesses will be most impacted as they are already dealing with labor and supply chain shortages and the mandate could cause them to lose more employees who don't want to be vaccinated either through the employees leaving or the employer needing to terminate the employee depending on the OSHA guidance that is still pending," DiPentima said.
With the holidays approaching, this could spell trouble for larger retailers whose employees may choose to leave for another job opportunity at a smaller organization where they won't be subject to the mandate. Some seeking work are asking companies whether they will require them to get the shot as they consider where to work.
DiPentima said the line between public safety and personal freedom gets blurred due to the health crisis, and that businesses should not be put in the middle of this blurred line.