Requiring Vaccines: Employers Can But Likely Won’t

Companies are unlikely to mandate that their employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine to come to work, said Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon.

McMillon said no members of the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group he chairs that represents CEOs of the largest U.S. companies, have yet chosen to require vaccination. “Our role is to encourage it and communicate facts and to set an example,” he said.

Companies such as Dollar General and Trader Joe’s have offered financial incentives for workers who get the vaccine as a way to encourage it without mandating it.

While mandates have not been common, companies can use them. In guidance released last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said employers can require that employees get vaccinated, but they must exempt and accommodate employees with disabilities and religious objections.

Polls show an openness to requirements among corporate leaders. About 39 percent of U.S. public company directors said employers should require workers to get vaccines, according to a poll by Diligent Institute and Corporate Board Members.