Vaccine Info to Support Employee Safety
WisCon occupational safety and health consultants are available at no cost to help Wisconsin’s employers with workplace COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. See the WisCon website for more information and to request their services.
On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posted updated and expanded COVID-19 technical assistance for employers along with a new resource for job applicants and employees. These publications are provided to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities at work during the pandemic. The technical assistance answers COVID-19 questions only from the perspective of the EEO laws. Other federal, state, and local laws come into play regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for employers and employees.
FAQ for Employers
· There are so many options for getting vaccinated, haven’t my employees already had the opportunity?
Not necessarily, having many options is not the same as having access to those options or information. Barriers to access can include concerns about missing work to get vaccinated or recover from any vaccination side effects, concerns about cost and insurance, lack of information and not being sure about eligibility, lack of transportation, and opportunities not being available outside of their working hours. For Wisconsin workers, their employers and coworkers are among the most trusted sources of information about vaccines. A few simple communications, policies, and programs can help employees overcome these common barriers and encourage COVID-19 vaccination among your workforce. COVID-19 vaccines help keep your employees—and your community—safe and healthy.
· I’m concerned that providing an onsite vaccination opportunity or paid leave will hurt my business’s productivity
Offering vaccinations at the worksite provides convenience, builds confidence by seeing others in trusted social circles get vaccinated, and makes everyone safer. By planning for vaccination and staggering those opportunities, employers can be prepared for times when workers may need to recover from vaccination side effects. On the other hand, an outbreak at your workplace cannot be planned for and can more substantially harm a business’s productivity and health of the workforce.
· How do I get started with providing on-site vaccination for my employees?
Employers can request to be matched with a vaccine provider to hold an on-site clinic for their employees and their families. DHS offers mobile vaccination teams that require no support on the part of the employer, so it‘s easier than ever to bring vaccination on-site.
· Does our business have to wait for the federal or state government to make a change to paid sick leave legislation before we change our policies?
No. Wisconsin businesses that do not already provide their employees with paid sick days could change their human resources policies to do so. These policies could be comprehensive and specifically provide emergency paid sick days during public health emergencies. (Healthy workers, thriving Wisconsin)
Additionally, payroll tax credits are available through September 30th for small- and medium-sized businesses (i.e., under 500 employees) to cover the full cost of paid leave for employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine and recover from any side effects. For more information, see the IRS Fact Sheet and US Treasury’s Employers: Paid Leave Flyer.