With many Americans, and indeed workers around the world, quitting their jobs because of employer vaccine mandates, a new question is “what employers don’t require the vaccine?” I’ve decided to confine my answer to America, rather than the world as a whole, as most of my readers live in the US.
Because of contradictory laws, guidance, and pledges from every level of government and even individual buisnesses, this question is more difficult to answer than you might expect.
While there are some new rules floating around about certain types of companies that theoretically must require the jab, others require the jab despite the lack of a government mandate and some of those theoretically mandated to require a vaccine have declared that they will not. Furthermore, some states have declared that companies within their borders can’t require that employees get vaxxed, which raises the issue of whether the requirements of the federal government or state governments reign supreme on this issue.
Based on the Tenth Amendment, I lean toward the latter, but this question is still up in the air. Finally, and this needs to be remembered, the backbone of the American economy is its tremendous number of small businesses, about which I can’t know that much on a grand scale. My barbershop doesn’t require the jab, but I have no idea if yours does nor is there much of a way for you to find out other than to show up and ask.
So, to keep this article on what employers don’t require the vaccine, I’ll mainly focus on what the current rules are for American businesses and discuss a few standout issues and potential legal issues going both ways. But, if you want to quit your corporate job to avoid the jab, know that your best bet is to work for a small business in a red state. I just can’t look into the requirements of each of the millions of American small businesses. Such a Sisyphean task would be absurd.
The Rules: The Federal Vax Mandate
As Fox News reports:
“the president announced businesses with more than 100 employees will be required to mandate coronavirus vaccines or administer weekly tests. Employers are also required to pay employees for time off to get vaccinated and recover from side effects.
The rule will take effect once the OMB finishes its review and it’s published in the federal register.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working expeditiously to develop an emergency temporary standard that covers employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing to protect employees from the spread of coronavirus in the workplace,” a Department of Labor spokesperson said in a statement. “On Tuesday, October 12, as part of the regulatory review process, the agency submitted the initial text of the emergency temporary standard to the Office of Management and Budget.”‘
While two dozen Republican AGs have threatened to sue if such a mandate goes into effect, it hasn’t yet, and it remains to be seen just how overarching the mandate will be and whether the states have a strong case against it. To develop a “worst-case scenario” about what employers do require the jab, let’s assume the mandate goes into effect as described and the squish justices on the SCOTUS let it stand. If we do make those assumptions, then any business with more than 100 employees will be forced to require its employees to get the jab. 164,038 American businesses have more than 100 employees.
Furthermore, as reported here, “On September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14042, mandating COVID-19 vaccination of employees working on or in connection with covered federal government contracts and subcontracts, with limited exceptions. On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance that requires covered federal contractor employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021, with limited exceptions, and addresses several other important aspects relating to implementation of EO 14042. While in some cases government-issued guidance is nonbinding, this guidance is intended to be binding.”
So if you work for a company that does business with the feds, you’ll also have to get the jab. Add the federal contractors to the tally of employers that require employee vaccination.
Then there are the other requirements, as CNET reports. Three other categories of people the fed requires to be vaxxed are:
- “The Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start Programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Education.
- Workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.
- Individuals applying to become lawful permanent US residents must be fully vaccinated, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Sept. 14.”
Furthermore, as CNET reports, Joe wants to “make vaccinations mandatory for teachers and school staff. And the president called on entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter their facilities. The administration is also upping fines for those who fail to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses.“
So add HHS employees, everyone who works at or attends federal government-run schools, healthcare workers in facilities that accept welfare payments, immigrants, teachers, school staff, and anyone who travels or goes to an entertainment venue. That’s quite a few people.
Oh, and add the 1.3 million active duty servicemembers. The DOD has said they need the jab too.
It’s from there that things start getting trickier to determine, all thanks to America’s federalist system.
On one hand, some states have passed laws requiring employees to get the jab. New York, for example, did so, only for a federal judge to strike it down. As the NYP reports, “An upstate New York federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, barring the state Department of Health from enforcing the requirement on healthcare workers who claim religious exemptions while the case is being decided.”
Then, in the middle, are states that expressly allow employers to have a vaccine mandate. These states can be found here.
And on the other side, numerous states have banned vaccine mandates, both by Executive Order and statute. They can be found here. Right now, about 20 states have done so.
The breakdown is largely what you’d expect; red states with real conservatives in charge have banned mandates and a few of the bluest states (NY, Oregon, California), have some form or mandate or another. Many states, both pink and blue, haven’t taken a stand one way or another.
Plus, there are some local mandates. LA, for example, has one.
Also, some companies have required the jab. As NPR reports, “companies like Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley and The Washington Post have recently announced vaccine requirements for their employees.”
Other companies that require the jab are Amtrak, AT&T, IBM, Lyft, McDonald’s, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Salesforce, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, Tyson Foods, Uber, United Airlines, Walgreens, and Walmart. So if you work for any of those companies, you’ll also need the jab. Plus, about 400 colleges and universities are requiring professors and students to get the vaccine.
Unless you live in a state that prohibits an employer from requiring you get the jab, in which case you might be able to avoid it…unless a court rules the federal rules pre-empt state rules…unless another court puts a hold on such a ruling. As you can probably tell, it’s quite messy and the lawyers are gonna be raking in the hourly checks. No one will know for sure until all the legal questions are sorted out.
Conclusion: The Overall Rules are Clear as Mud
So, at this point, it’s impossible to tell when exactly your employer has the right to require that you get the vaccine, or when it will be forced to do so. While I’d like to just be able to make a list of what companies don’t require the Covid vaccine, such a list will be impossible to make in the short term; in addition to sheer scale, the legality of all the contradictory laws and E.O.s on the issue is still in flux.
If you, like many conservatives, are against the Covid vaccine, then your best bet is to work for or own a business with fewer than 100 employees that is based in a deep red state and does no business with the federal government.
Other than that, neither I nor anyone else can really say. Some companies, such as the Daily Wire, have pledged to fight the vaccine mandate. Others, despite living in states where a mandate is prohibited, are requiring employees to get the jab. No one knows, as of yet, what challenges will be successful, or even whether state governments or the federal government have the authority to decide if a mandate is allowable.
So, be safe and ditch corporate America for real America.