Frustrated with vaccine-hesitant holdouts, President Joe Biden lashed out last week. In a speech to the nation, Biden said that he was signing an executive order mandating vaccine requirements for about 100 million Americans. The president was becoming ‘frustrated’ with the 80 million Americans who have not complied, despite the surge in the Delta variant and an alarming increase in cases and filled hospital beds. Companies with over 100 workers must have their staff vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
Like most issues today, our nation is deeply divided into opposing factions. Roughly over half of the United States population is in favor of wearing masks and getting their shots. The other side is vehemently against “forced” vaccinations and wearing a mask that they feel is just for show and a means for the government to assert control over the population.
This debate spills over to the workplace. Those who have received their vaccinations are not too pleased, to say the least, working alongside the unvaxxed. Employees who have elected not to take the jab contend that their rights should be respected.
Blind, an app and website that provides an anonymous forum and community for verified employees to discuss work-related issues, conducted a survey about vaccinations. The study included more than 5,000 verified professionals in the U.S. The anonymous professional social network “identified broad support for mandated vaccination and testing to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic.”
It may come as a surprise to some people, but the study showed that the vast majority of workers would report colleagues and the company for not enforcing or complying with Biden’s edict.
Here are the highlights of the survey:
- About one in two professionals in the U.S. said they would report their employer if they were not checking Covid-19 vaccination status or testing weekly.
- Workers at tech companies, including Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Lyft and Uber, were most likely to say they would report their employer for any potential non-compliance with Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
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Blind found the president’s vaccination program garnered popular support amongst workers in the U.S. The Business Roundtable, a group composed of CEOs from the nation’s top corporations, approved of Biden’s vaccination plans. The top executives welcomed “the Biden Administration’s continued vigilance in the fight against [Covid-19]. America’s business leaders know how critical vaccination and testing are in defeating the pandemic, which is why so many have invested resources in encouraging and incentivizing their customers and employees to get vaccinated, including providing paid time off.” The president’s orders helped alleviate the conflicts faced by business executives in keeping the peace between the two sides of the debate.
Roughly 75% of white-collar professionals in the U.S. support Biden’s nationwide Covid-19 vaccination and testing mandate. The thesis is that many people would “snitch” on their companies for the “greater good” and a chance to get back to some sort of normal workstyle and life.
A similar 75% of respondents said that they “would support the rules if it meant their community would end Covid-19 restrictions.” The results show that tech company workers “were most likely to say they would report their employer for not complying with Covid-19 vaccine and testing mandates.” This makes sense as Big-Tech companies in Silicon Valley have generally supported Biden and his vaccination agenda.
Interestingly, respondents that work at banks and financial institutions are less likely to report their companies compared to tech employees. Top-tier investment banks account for the least amount of workers who would file a complaint. This may be due to the fact that Wall Street firms are highly regulated and have robust compliance, legal, audit and risk divisions. Bankers, brokers and traders may presume that these units would deal with these types of matters. Additionally, Blind points out that financial firms are “less likely to report their employer for non-compliance because many banks had already enforced mandatory Covid-19 vaccination before Biden’s mandate.”
Biden’s plan calls for the U.S. Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) division to take responsibility for ensuring that businesses enforce his orders. OSHA was established in 1970 to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
The aim of the agency is to prevent workplace injuries or deaths before they occur by educating employers about potential hazards in the workplace. OSHA also monitors and inspects work environments to hold employers accountable for creating safe and healthy workplaces. The agency holds the authority to conduct inspections, audits and examinations.
If a person claims that they are in danger due to actions or lack of actions by their company, they can file a complaint or become whistleblowers and report the grievance. If rules are not followed, fines can go up to $14,000 per violation for lack of compliance to the mandate, according to Biden.
This could cause an uncomfortable work environment, especially as the return-to-work plans of many companies are still up in the air. There is the potential for internal warring factions to develop.
You can foresee a situation in which a worker reports a colleague or supervisor for not getting vaccinated or taking their weekly tests. The manager would get in trouble. The person who was accused might retaliate in some fashion.
We could see people using this reporting system to push rivals out of the way. Some may report the company or employee to virtue signal and make them look good in the eyes of friends and peers who share the same views.
A nasty and toxic work environment might be the result. People may end up not trusting each other anymore. Bosses may be forced to bully their employees into getting tested or taking their shots, out of fear of getting in trouble themselves. Executive management may bear down hard on the unvaxxed, out of fear of being turned into the regulators. People may quit or file claims against abusive practices and intimidation to get jabbed.
Another scenario might be that workers get their vaccinations, don’t have any adverse repercussions and the mood dramatically improves to an upbeat and positive environment.