On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Peter Murphy, Julie Fay, and Dan Schwartz addressed the Connecticut Construction Industries Association on the very latest regarding Connecticut’s vaccination efforts and how employers in the building trades can prepare for and then implement best practices in ensuring a vaccinated workforce.

The presentation is one of a series of presentations we’ve given recently on vaccines to various industry groups. Shipman will be sponsoring an open webinar on vaccines on February 8, 2021 at noon. Registration is available here.

As vaccines have become available, employers’ questions have changed.  Employers first asked whether they can mandate vaccines.  We’ve said that, with some exceptions, employers can engage in such a mandate, but more challenging questions then arise: Should employers mandate vaccines? If so, how? And if not, what then?

Beyond the choice to mandate, other issues arise such as: What happens when a client mandates that workers sent to a job site be vaccinated? Can employers comply with that request? And how? How can employers protect an employee’s privacy interest while still trying to respect a client’s wishes?

Moreover, some trades have union considerations to address, including whether vaccination programs are covered by controlling collective bargaining agreements, and if not, whether such programs are mandatory subjects of bargaining over the decision itself, or just the impact of the decision (not surprisingly, employers and unions have different views on this topic).

For the construction industry, an added difficulty is that the vaccine may first become widely available during a busy season.  Should employers provide paid time off, or should they arrange for clinics to visit worksites?

Employers in the construction industry and essential employers should consider and balance these questions and more, as vaccines become more available.

We thank the CCIA for the opportunity to address its members. If you would like to arrange for a Shipman presentation to your trade group, please contact Daniel Schwartz at dschwartz@goodwin.com or Peter Murphy at pjmurphy@goodwin.com.