After months of uncertainty, it appears large Michigan employers will have an answer soon on whether a federal vaccine and testing rule will proceed.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Friday on whether President Joe Biden’s vaccination-or-testing mandate for private employers with 100 or more employees can take effect as scheduled Monday, with the weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated employees starting Feb. 9.
If deemed legal, as many as 2.6 million Michiganders working at 5,500 businesses across the state would be subject to the vaccine-or-testing rules, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Leslie Tarnacki, SVP of Human Resources at WorkForce Software, said that while the company’s own workforce management software automates many of the requirements of the vaccine and testing rule, it has still been a challenge to track every employee’s health records.
“A lot of the onus of tracking and making sure that we know what’s up with employees and their health records (is on us),” Tarnacki said. “Are you vaccinated? Are you OK to come into the office and meet with a team of 15 people if that’s what’s requested?”
Tarnacki and her team surveyed their employees in September after the rule was announced to see what percentage was vaccinated. She said the results were positive, with nearly 90% of employees reporting they were fully vaccinated.
However, Tarnacki says, “When you have a corporate environment where you want people to gather and work together and be able to meet in person, it’s challenging when you have these pockets of employees that are not willing to be vaccinated.”