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Mandatory vaccine policy may have consequences for workers



COVID-19 vaccine development has begun in healthcare and nursing homes throughout the United States, and employers in many industries are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have their employees vaccinated against coronavirus.

However, employers must balance their desire for a safe workplace with the risks of requiring vaccinations and the potential consequences for workers if a worker experiences serious side effects, experts say.

Employers "must realize that if they introduce a vaccination mandate it is likely that they will have to pay for the vaccination, that this will be compensated working time, and … medical complications in a mandatory vaccination environment will be under work compensation and covered, "said Gary Pearce, Detroit's risk-based risk manager. Management Consultation Aclaimant Inc.

While government agencies including the Gender Equality Commission and the Occupational Safet y and Health Administration have said that employers can mandate workers to receive the COVID-1

9 vaccine, it may not be the best practice, says attorney Jeff Adelson, partner with Newport Beach, California, Adelson McLean PC

"If the employer prescribes the use of the vaccination … as a condition of continued employment, regardless of where the vaccination is obtained, it is likely to be considered a compensatory injury" if the employee has a severe reaction, he said.

Although the employer does not prescribe the vaccine but encourages it, and the worker suffers from a vaccine-related injury, it can also be considered a compensatory injury in some states, such as California, said Adelson. [19659002] Choosing that mandate or strong Encouraging vaccines can potentially have both beneficial and unfavorable consequences for the worker as compensation, says Natasa Timotijevic, associate at the Chicago office in Goldberg Segalla LLP. due to side effects from vaccinations, but on the other hand, a vaccine mandate can serve as a complementary defense in COVID-19 exposure claims, which can be especially important in states like Illinois with the adoption of compensation laws for workplace-acquired coronavirus, Ms Timotijevic said.

"One of the ways employers can disprove this presumption," she said, "is to demonstrate public health compliance in place at the time of exposure." If federal guidance encourages vaccination and the employer's vaccine policy complies with these guidelines, it may be further a defense to disprove these claims, she said.

Employers must come up with a plan that balances the needs and interests of the company with what is in the worker's best interests, Pearce said.

"Some industries will decide that the vaccine will "For example, companies may also want a separate work-based policy," he said.

"It will be difficult to postpone a mandate for people who work remotely and are not exposed to", says Pearce. "On the other hand, if you have people working nearby, it will make vaccination much more motivated."

Employers who mandate or encourage vaccinations must also have a process to track which employees have been vaccinated, whether they have had both the initial shot and the booster at the right time, or whether they have signed a health or religious exemption reasons, says Sean Salvas, Phoenix-based senior market strategy leader for environment, health and safety at Origami Risk LLC.

One way to potentially avoid a negative reaction that turns into a workers' compensation is to give a few days of paid leave for employees to get the shot and recover, Adelson said. Another option would be to have telemedicine options available to workers who have a negative reaction, he said.

Based on the experience of people who have been vaccinated so far, the reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine have been similar to those of other vaccines, and it is "likely that the majority of these (vaccine-related comp.) Claim, if they were to occur, will to become nominal, "said Timotijevic.

"All of this is very much up in the air as far as how (vaccine reactions) will be treated in worker skills," said Carin Burford, Birmingham, Alabama-based shareholder with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC "Comp case is usually the last things to be claimed. "

More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .

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