No Vaccine… No Job?
The U.S. reached two extremely important milestones in recent weeks: 50% of adults have received at least one vaccine shot and 916,000 jobs were added in March resulting in the unemployment rate falling to 6%. Many of the jobs wiped out by Covid-19 are returning thanks to the vaccination effort.
Are these two related? If you are on the hunt for a new job opportunity, the relationship is significant.
To date, 25% of adults say they will not get a coronavirus vaccine due to potential side effects, safety concerns, or mistrust of drugmakers or the government. While the decision to be vaccinated is personal, it is also a professional consideration. Organizations across the country and industry are beginning to include at least one confirmed vaccination as a job requirement for both existing and new employees. According to data released by ZipRecruiter, “the number of jobs that included the term ‘vaccine’ or ‘vaccination’ grew sixfold since the same time last year, amounting to a total of 50,000 open positions.”
No vaccine, no job. In some cases, not even an interview.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its guidance to help employers navigate the latest pandemic-related challenges. The result: “Employers can mandate that employees get the COVID-19 vaccination. The justification for mandating vaccination, especially during the pandemic, is based on the premise that unvaccinated employees present a ‘direct threat’ to others in the workplace.” While a mandatory program is not needed by all organizations, there is a slow trend building.
Many organizations do not have a foreseeable plan to return to an in-person model, allowing employees to continue to work remotely. In this case, the vaccine question might be moot… for now. Those planning to return to the office or looking for a new in-person job, however, vaccination is a significant piece of their job search puzzle.
As a job seeker, you are faced with a make-or-break decision… How committed are you to your vaccine choice? If your ideal role or dream company requires full vaccination for all employees (and you do not meet any of the exemptions offered) are you willing to change your mind?