If you’re a job seeker, you may have seen this new non-negotiable showing up on specific job postings: “Must be vaccinated.” The employee vaccine requirement first gained notoriety in healthcare and nursing but quickly spread to big corporations like Morgan Stanely, Google, and Lyft. The trend continues to grow and is seen in job ads for all types of businesses, regardless of size or sector. It is reported that postings requiring a candidate to be vaccinated are up 90% since July.
According to Indeed, jobs in marketing, sales, and software development requiring a vaccine have risen significantly. Although employees can do these jobs remotely, many companies are planning for future in-person meetings, hybrid schedules, travel, or teambuilding events. Employers also believe mandating vaccination for new and existing employees attracts new candidates and reassures existing employees who may be hesitant to return to work due to increased COVID cases.
Not all employers demand their employees be vaccinated, but some offer generous incentives to those who choose to do so. Businesses are offering cash bonuses, paid time off, or gift cards to improve company-wide vaccination rates. Other employers who are advertising their decision NOT to require a vaccination are doing so as a way of competing for the talent of those who may not qualify under the other organizations’ stricter policies.
Is requiring a vaccine even legal?
The short answer is yes. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is at the employer’s discretion to require an employee to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before physically entering the workplace.
In fact, if you are seeking employment at a company of 100 or more employees, that company is now legally required to ensure its employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID. The only caveats for this new federal mandate are:
- The employer must apply the same policy for every employee
- The employer must provide “reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, do not get vaccinated for COVID-19, unless providing an accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.”
Even if you prove exempt from the mandate, an employer will likely require you to be tested weekly and wear a mask when in the office.
Should you state your vaccination status on your resume?
With the growing number of jobs requiring candidates to be vaccinated, job seekers are increasingly promoting their “fully-vaccinated” status on their resumes and LinkedIn. Informing the employer upfront can get their attention and may even set you apart from the rest of the applicants. After all, if a job requires vaccination, you’re saving a hiring manager valuable time in their screening process by letting them know in advance.
Again, not all employers require a vaccine for employment. Qualifications and skills are still essential and determine whether you’ll be an asset to an organization. But you may have to do some digging around to make sure you don’t waste your time applying for jobs that have a vaccine requirement you can’t meet. Thankfully, most employers with a policy in place have made it very clear on their job postings, so you’ll know what to expect as soon as you click on their ad.
By the way, did you happen to read our last blog on the One Guaranteed COVID-Related Question an Employer Will Ask You in an Interview? You should really check it out.