HR Panel on Tackling Vaccine Mandates

One thing we do know about these recent vaccine mandates: The challenges aren’t going to resolve themselves.  But how can you implement a strategy when there seems to be a grey area between what the state and federal governments are saying?

What side of the fence do you as the employer have to be on?

In this webinar, Engage by Cell CEO Dave Asheim interviews one of the country’s top vaccine authorities plus two expert HR consultants with boots-on-the-ground experience in vaccine safety, management training, and more.

Brenda Neckvatal is an award-winning HR professional and best-selling author with 30 years of experience consulting nearly 500 small businesses and C-suite leaders.

Michelle Gray, SHRM-CP, PHR is the Founder of Integra HR Consulting and Director of the Arizona SHRM State Council.

Kevin Troutman is a member of Fisher Phillips' COVID-19 Taskforce and leads its Vaccine work group, both of which are dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

View Slides

Here are the highlights of their discussion:

Status of the November 2021 Vaccine Mandate Appeals
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has received lawsuits by several companies. The court issued a stay basically saying they’re not moving forward with enforcing this rule, but what it really means is that all of the circuit lawsuits related to this issue are going to be put together and sent to one circuit on November the 16th. From there, we'll know whether it moves forward or not. I think it will, and certainly our advice has been that you should prepare as though this rule is going into effect. Because if you don't, and the court then decides that it's going forward, then you're going to have even less time to get compliant.
-Kevin Troutman

Important Deadlines to Remember
December the sixth is actually going to be the first deadline by which under the OSHA rule, employees have to at least have their first dose of the vaccine. And then January 5 is the date by which they have to have a second dose. Even though January 4th is the ultimate deadline, there's an important deadline in December. That's why employers need to be thinking now about what are they going to do. Don't expect this to just go away. We're going to have to deal with it. It's going to be a reality.
-Kevin Troutman

Consistent Communication: We’re All in This Together
Regardless of the size of the organization, management needs to make sure that their message is consistent. I think that's the biggest breakdown when one manager is communicating something totally different than another. If you're in an office, try to have that interpersonal connection, because people often have a better understanding when they see an individual talking. They can feel the message, “We're in this together.” Instead of putting blame, talk about what your organization needs to do to be safe.
-Michelle Gray

Dealing with Angry Employees: Start with Leaders
Even before this recent mandate, managers probably already had angry employees coming to them. So first, educate your company leaders on how to effectively respond. The number one objective at this point is to gain buy-in. You can't control the range of employee emotions. The only thing that you can control is your message. The last thing you need is a rogue manager popping their emotional cork off on everybody. Work with your leaders and give them space to express what is on their mind so that they can turn around and effectively lead.
-Brenda Neckvatal

Give Employees a Choice
The employer has the choice under the OSHA rule. You can require everybody to get vaccinated, but you've still got to deal with accommodation requests. In the environment that we face, it's probably a good idea in most situations to say to your employees, “You're either going to need to get vaccinated or to get tested weekly.” Give them the choice.
-Kevin Troutman

Employee Vaccine Mandates: A Balancing Act
I've seen some clients who are forcing the issue. In some cases, it's because they had the experience of being in areas that had higher levels of infection, and they maybe had employees who've been directly affected, and they don't want that to happen again. I've seen some that just want to be very cautious. Safety is their top priority. But they also have to keep in mind that they could lose some employees if they push the issue too hard. So it's a balancing act more than anything.
-Kevin Troutman

What Data Should You Track?
Follow what you see on the CDC Covid vaccination card. Get the employee’s name, the manufacturer, and the lot numbers. Have really good, reliable systems to protect the information. You don't have to be a document expert, but you obviously can't let inauthentic or forged documents by either. If Moderna is not spelled right, and Pfizer is not spelled out, that should be a red flag or if the dates don't really match up. Employers need to satisfy themselves that it's an authentic card.
-Kevin Troutman

Vaccine Information and HIPAA
If an employer asks an employee, “I need to know if you're vaccinated,” there's no HIPAA issue there. If an employee says, “That violates my HIPAA rights,” that's just wrong. If the employee says, “I'm not going to tell you,” the better response would be to say, “If you can't show us proof of vaccination, we're going to have to regard you as unvaccinated.”
-Kevin Troutman

Using Technology for Vaccine Tracking
Engage by Cell has an amazing tracker which I absolutely love. Tracking this data is something that traditionally people probably would have taken a more manual approach to it. But if you're leveraging technology to the best of your ability, then you're actually cutting back on labor dollars. It's something that can be measured, and as a result, it's something that can be justified.
-Brenda Neckvatal

Employees Threatening to Quit Over Vaccine Mandates
The biggest part when talking to these individuals is being able to validate their feelings.  Once an individual feels that they're validated, the conversation often becomes de-escalated. Next, for critical positions, evaluate why those employees are working for you. What distinguishes your company from another company? Then maybe provide some incentives and engaging events. People stay with companies because they love the culture.
-Michelle Gray

OSHA Penalties for Noncompliance
OSHA may be looking to make an example out of some companies that haven't taken this mandate seriously enough. So everybody should be very serious about preparing now. Organizations are going to need to respond to employee complaints. It's another reason why it's important to keep employees engaged and communicating with them, as opposed to them feeling like they have to go someplace else to vent.
-Kevin Troutman

Notifying Employees of Exposures
Be careful that it's not a mass email, because you're just going to scare the entire staff. Be cautious and do not disrupt the workplace. Follow the contact tracing, so it's a need to know. Do not provide information as to the individual person. Your messaging is, “You may have come in contact with an individual that has either been exposed or has COVID.”
-Michelle Gray

Be Prepared. Start Now
Be prepared. Don't sit back and wait. Some HR professionals are waiting to see if the mandates are overturned. I would not do that. It's better to be prepared and proactive than being reactive. Guide your team and company in the right direction.
-Michelle Gray

Previous Post
Next Post
Community Outreach through Text Messaging and Mobile Web Apps Supported by WIOA Funds
Overworked Departments Embrace Mobile Tech to Improve Outreach
New Mobile Technology + AI Makes Strides in Workforce Development
Government Agencies Embrace Technologies to Improve Engagement
Destination Salem Leverages Smartphone Tour and GPS Mapper
Popular Park & Museum Find Success in Mobile Wayfinding & Touring Tools
Greenburgh Public Library’s Ground-Breaking App Initiatives
WIOA Funding Now Available for Outreach Activities Including Text Messaging
Introducing Mobile Technology in Safety Training & Communications
The Simplest Fundraising Tool Every Nonprofit Should Use
Engaging Students & Visitors With a Mobile Audio Guide
Microlearning & Mobile: Sticky Content with Efficient Delivery
Staff On-The-Go? This Casino Turns to Mobile to Increase Engagement
Empowering Employees Through Mobile Technology: American Synthetic Rubber Co + Engage by Cell
Workforce Organization Redefining Job Seeker Engagement through Text Messaging
HR Team Cuts Confusion with Mobile Resource Hub
Reaching Employees Who Never Sit: How This Medical Center Trains and Supports Nonstop Staff
Engage By Cell Announces ChatGPT Integration
ChatGPT Instantly Improves Performance In Any Role: Expert on AI In Everyday Work
10 Expert Tips to Boost SMS Marketing Platform Opt-Ins
Enhancing the Visitor Experience: Klehm Arboretum's Seasonal Smartphone Tour
Museum Expert on Steep Declines in Attendance and Engagement
Improving the Employee Experience with Today's Tech
10 Ways to Improve Emergency Response and Safety Training Using Mobile
Tufts Medicine Upgrades Onboarding & Leadership Training via Mobile
Text Message Marketing Expert Reveals Secrets on Implementing Texting in 2023
So You Want to be a Trainer? Subject Expert vs Trainer
Top 10 Texts Messages sent by WFD Organizations Today
Native Apps vs Mobile Web Apps: What Are They and Which One Is Better?
Custom Navigation Solution Solves Visitor Challenges for Large Art Facility
Breaking the “Unemployment Office” Stigma
Our Hottest Solutions of 2022: Audio Tours & GPS Mappers
Student Created Digital Content for Immersive Campus Touring
How Digital Processes Continue to Improve Employee Health & Safety
GPS Mapper Use Case: Missouri Botanical Gardens
A Van Gogh Audio Guide at The Detroit Institute of Art
Workforce Pods feature Engage by Cell's Founder and CEO!
Looking Forward in Fundraising: What You Should Be Paying Attention To
Job Seekers and Change: Workforce Development vs. The Great Resignation
Training Delivered Straight Into Your Employees’ Hands
HR Panel on Tackling Vaccine Mandates
How Mobile Technology Bridged Mary Kay's Global Communication Gap
Hospital Nurses Gamify Learning by Using Text Messaging
Making Fundraising at Events Easy with Mobile
Bring your Members Closer Together with These Non-Traditional Technologies
How Mobile Takes the Friction Out of Fundraising
Fundraising for a Purpose
Best Practices for Fundraising Success
Guests Guide Themselves with GPS Mapper
City Department Managers Talk Text Messaging
When Doors are Closed, Keep Visitors Engaged Through Audio Tours
Text Messaging for Organizations: How It Works & How To Work It
Microlearning Series Part 2 - How To Launch Micro-Content in Minutes
This Small Art Museum Shares Why It Went Mobile
What’s This Legal Aid Charity’s Secret to Success? It’s Mobile
This Boys and Girls Club Reveals The Best Way to Raise Money For Kids
How did an Ohio Association Convince Young People to Donate?
Laura Pohl Customer Experience Story
Top 8 Ways Learning Institutions Use Mobile Services
This Small Museum Shares How It Gets Kids Hooked on History
This Small Town Shares How It Got Visitors Excited About Their History
This College Program Agrees: Mobile Really Gets Donors Engaged
Denver Public Schools Finds Great Success in Mobile Training
How This Cultural Museum Used Mobile To Tell Better Stories
How Museums Are Responding to COVID-19
In a COVID-19 World, How Do You Move Your Training Forward?
Who Knew a Virtual Conference Could Be This Fun?
How to Run a Successful Virtual Silent Auction
Performing Arts Organization Raised $5 Million During a Recession
Showing Sensitivity: Fundraising Calls to Action During COVID-19
Gathering in Virtual Houses of Worship
Creating a Safer Work Environment with the COVID Vaccine Tracker
Introducing our new Mobile Benefits Guide
Your Employees, Your LMS and Engage by Cell
Text Messaging Statistics 2021
Nature Center Goes Digital with a Mobile Map and Guide
Why Most Institutions Choose Mobile Websites Over Apps for Visitor Tours
Curious About Mobile? Industry Statistics for Cultural Venues
Training CASA Volunteers Through Mobile Learning Tools
The Mobile Solution Every Workforce Organization Needs
Top 7 Insights About Mobile Engagement Technology
Supporting Human Resources With Mobile: A Manufacturing Plant Use Case
Staying Connected with a Distributed Workforce: A Multi-Franchise Use Case
Text-to-Give: Supporting Valley Children’s Hospital on Kids Day
Set up new hires for success with Engage by Cell’s Task Manager
See How Mobile Helps Build Your Donor List
Stern Grove Festival Plays On with Best of the Fest Virtual Event
See How This Workforce Agency Supports Job Seekers with Mobile Tech
Mobile Giving for Performing Arts Make for a Dynamic Partnership
See How Banner Health Supports Employees Through Mobile Tech
See How This CASA Trains Volunteers on Mobile
Recognizing Donors in Real Time at 2021 Person of Vision
Mobile is the Perfect Meeting and Conference Companion
Lane Motor Museum Puts Visitors in the Driver's Seat
Santa Fe Art Collections in the Palm of Your Hand
Mobile Engagement: The New, Effortless Way to Connect with Your Customers
Kaiser Learning Conference Spotlights Mobile Trends in Healthcare
11 Employee Onboarding Best Practices with Mobile Tech
Maximize Donations with Mobile
The Battle for Your Employees Attention: 5 Training Truths Unveiled
Contact us for a demo and pricing
Message (optional)
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.