The Vaccine and Your Workplace
Over the past month we’ve been fielding a number of questions about the COVID vaccine roll out. Below, you will find a list of resources to help you navigate it as an employer and citizen of Idaho.
We’re always here to help. Should you not find information you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for additional support. You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our online help request form.
When Can I Receive the COVID Vaccine?
Vaccinations are now open for adult Idahoans 65 and older and those that were eligible at the beginning in January. A complete list is available on the state’s new vaccination resource website.
It will take approximately ten weeks to vaccinate all Idahoans 65+, and it is currently estimated that in early April the following populations will be eligible (subject to vaccine availability):
Where Can I Get the Vaccine?
For frequent updates and resources on where and when, visit the website as noted in your county above and refer to the state's website as well.
When and How Are Vaccines Shipped to and Distributed in Idaho?
Click here for a schedule and here for more information.
As An Employer, Can I Require My Employees to Get the Vaccine?
The short answer is no, not always. The long answer is that it depends if employees are required to work in an office (you can require it but must offer exemptions for religious or disability related concerns). The best answer is to both encourage your employees to get the vaccine (even providing them with incentives to do so) and resources and information about where, when, and how. In other words this isn’t a black and white issue.
Things That You Can Do
Make sure you keep your employees informed of changes to the distribution and continue to support a strong COVID workplace policy with regards to symptoms and infections. Your local health district always provides timeline guidance and information as well as any current community restrictions in place.
With a SHRM membership, there are great resources regarding the do’s and don’ts of COVID vaccines for employers (you can read up to three SHRM articles a month for free). The new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidance on vaccines in the workplace. Learn more here.
We also recommend reading this article from SHRM on developing an employee vaccine strategy. In it, there’s great discussion from HR experts on a four phase approach including assessment, decision, incentives, and resources.
This study suggests that most employers won’t require but will encourage employees to get vaccinated. Finally, understanding vaccines and employer liability is important and to that end here’s our final recommendation: COVID-19 Vaccines and Employer Liability.
For us, the bottom line is creating a balance between keeping our staff safe and healthy, understanding the risks and liabilities, and providing an inclusive environment that respects the views and wishes of the team. You can also contact these partners for consultation as you build out your plan.
This is my last guidance for you as the CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. I wish each and every one of you my very best. Thank you for all you do for our Idaho communities. Our world is a better place with each of you in it.
– Amy Little, former CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center
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