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Fewer Employers Considering Vaccine Mandates, Survey Reveals
Employers appear to be more keen on encouraging vaccines than requiring them, according to Fisher Phillips’ findings. It’s also apparent that, for a third of the firm’s more than 600 respondents, fears of infringing on anti-discrimination laws hold them back from making a mandate.
Fisher Phillips pointed out in its analysis that there’s some irony in how these findings broke down. When the results were published, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — the agency that enforces the nation’s anti-discrimination legislation — had indicated that employers could require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it had yet to make clear whether or how employers could incentivize vaccination.
Seven EU Countries Just Got a Digital Vaccine Passport
The European Union’s digital vaccine passport system went live in seven countries yesterday, ahead of a full launch for all 27 member states on July 1. The document, called a digital green certificate, shows whether someone has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the virus, or tested negative within the last 72 hours.
Travelers who can prove they fit one of these three criteria are not required to be tested or go into quarantine. The certificate is now being accepted in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland.
Companies Can Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine, Incentivize Workers To Get Shot, EEOC Says
Employers are allowed to require the COVID-19 vaccine, and can also legally provide incentives, including cash, to workers who get jabbed, according to updated guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Companies must still provide reasonable accommodation for employees who are exempt from mandatory immunization under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The commission also stated that employer incentives must not be “coercive,” but stopped short of providing examples of illegal offers.
Biden Declares June ‘National Month of Action’ for COVID-19 Vaccinations
President Joe Biden on Wednesday declared June a “national month of action” to mobilize even more Americans to get vaccinated by July Fourth, in order to enjoy what he called “a summer of freedom.”
With the help of vaccinations, Biden said, Americans are headed into a summer vastly different from last year.
“A summer of freedom. A summer of joy. A summer of get-togethers and celebrations. An all-American summer that this country deserves after a long, long, dark winter that we’ve all endured,” he said.
Maine Lawmakers Reluctant to Share Vaccine Status With Mask Standoff Looming
Both Maine lawmakers’ reluctance to respond to a survey on vaccinations and a standoff over a mask mandate threatening to upend State House business have underscored ongoing political tension around COVID-19 policies.
Gov. Janet Mills’ decision to lift Maine’s mask mandate on May 24 followed guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most indoor spaces. But Democratic legislative leaders kept a State House mandate in effect ahead of a Wednesday return to the Capitol for the first time in over a year.
Cruise Lines and Florida Gov. Desantis Square Off Over Vaccine Passports
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on a collision course with one of the state’s biggest industries over a law he signed banning businesses from asking customers whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cruise ship operators, who sail out of Florida’s large southern ports, say the order will make it harder for them to safely return to the seas, possibly imperiling a major economic driver in the state.
Groups Representing Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google Are Suing Florida Over Gov. Desantis’ New Bill Banning Online ‘Deplatforming’
Two industry groups that represent tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida, claiming a new law that targets online speech violates the First Amendment.
The lawsuit was filed by Netchoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), and is aimed at a new bill signed last week by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Washington’s Largest County Bans Government Use of Facial Recognition Software
The most populous county in Washington state has become the first in the nation to ban government use of facial recognition software.
King County, which comprises the greater Seattle area and is home to some 2.3 million people, announced Tuesday that a proposal to ban government agencies use of facial recognition software had been approved by a vote of 9-0.
Tennessee Hat Store’s ‘Not Vaccinated’ Star of David Patches Spark Protest
Manufacturer Stetson announced Saturday it’s pulling its products from a store in Nashville, Tennessee, which advertised the sale of “not vaccinated” Star of David patches for $5.
Driving the news: Protesters rallied outside Hatwrks Saturday, displaying signs with messages including “The Holocaust is not a marketing op.”