WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some big and small companies are receiving President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate positively – but for different reasons.
Biden’s recent executive order requiring all employers of 100 or more workers to require a vaccine or make weekly COVID-19 testing available has garnered a mixed reception among employers and workers alike. Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber doesn’t think it is good policy.
“The chamber believes it’s the wrong course of action mostly because it seems to be a one-size-fits-all type of approach,” he said.
The mandate is causing a lot of worry among smaller businesses.
“There are going to be a lot of medium and smaller employers, though, that are saying, ‘You know what, we should be able to decide for ourselves in consultation with our employees about what makes the most amount of sense for our workplace’,” Maisch said.
The president’s executive order doesn’t take into account the vast array of business models existing at the 100-employee mark, Maisch pointed out.
“Your business model can still be very different, depending on whether you’re a Fortune 50 company or whether you’re a fairly successful lawn and garden shop,” he said.
Big companies like Google and Facebook put vaccine mandates in place months before the president’s order, AP News reported. Maisch says the federal mandate does provide support to companies already on board with mandating vaccination.
“They’re being very honest that it gives us a lot of cover with our employees that, ‘Hey, this is a government mandate – you have to go ahead and get vaccinated,’ and it’s almost like the president has their backs to a certain extent on a policy that they wanted for their workplace,” he said.
Some small employers see this mandate as an advantage which will drive vaccine-adverse workers to their doors, the Associated Press reported. Maisch said that makes sense.
“If you are in the camp that says, ‘I really don’t want to be vaccinated or have my employer require it,” it would make employers that are below 100 potentially more attractive,” he said.