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Oklahoma Employment Attorney Chelsea Smith in Hospitality Technology 

March 18, 2021

Hospitality Technology

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Thinking of Mandating the COVID-19 Vaccine for Your Hospitality Employees?
Not a great idea; try incentivizing it instead, says labor and employment attorney.

The standard [for who can mandate vaccines] is fairly tough,” says Chelsea Smith, a labor and employment attorney at the national law firm Hall Estill. She has been helping employers navigate the details surrounding vaccines and the workplace. “The employer must prove that a mandatory vaccine is job-related and consistent with business necessity or justified by a direct threat and no broader than necessary.  It is much easier to just encourage employees to get the vaccine rather than mandating it.”

When asked what incentives are best to use, Smith says, "I prefer PTO over incentives. If an employer gives an incentive, they should  know that if they have employees who won’t get the vaccine because of a sincerely held religious belief or a disability, then those employees should still be given an opportunity to earn the same incentive.”