Article by Erica Opitz and Diana Perez Gomez on “Board Considerations for Covid-19 Vaccine Programs"
In an article published in the May / June issue of Board Leadership, Atlanta-based Shareholder Erica Opitz and Houston-based Shareholder Diana Pérez Gomez discuss key factors that a board of directors should consider when deciding whether to require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Nevertheless, by understanding new sources of potential liability and taking demonstrable steps to meet and exceed these benchmarks, companies and their boards can ameliorate legal risks, improve their own decision-making by adding new viewpoints, and assume their role as part of our societal advancement toward equality,” explain Opitz and Gomez.
Opitz and Gomez further explain that while some companies found that their workforce is just as productive working remotely, others cannot operate remotely and are optimistic that vaccines will help them resume normal operations in 2021.
“However, vaccines will only protect a company’s workforce if employees actually vaccinate,” said Opitz and Gomez. “As a result, many employers are trying to determine whether they can, or should, enforce a mandatory vaccination program for their employees.”
For companies requiring a mandatory vaccination policy, their board of directors should carefully consider a number of factors, including the legality of a mandatory vaccination policy, administration of the vaccine, reasonable accommodations, and encouragement and incentives.
“Given the constantly evolving landscape in this area, most companies have chosen to encourage but not mandate the vaccination of their employees,” said Opitz and Gomez.