By Michael S. Moore and H. Wayne Young
As we all read the news reports the last week or so, the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading quickly among the unvaccinated portion of society. Also, the pace of vaccinations in Arkansas has slowed with still fewer than one million Arkansans fully vaccinated. In response to this surge, hospitals, including UAMS, are reopening their Covid-19 units. This surge and the reaction by healthcare providers will have a ripple effect of causing limitations in healthcare services available for non-Covid needs.
Also, as we have all seen the limitations in supply chain caused by Covid-19 shutdowns, it is entirely possible that these disruptions in the supply chain will increase in the coming months.
Arkansas has the third lowest vaccination rate in the country, and several scientists have pointed to our state as a potential Delta variant hotspot in the coming weeks.
Employers should be mindful of the vaccination rate in their business, and should do everything possible to encourage their employees to be vaccinated. A great resource is at the Vaccinate the Natural State website.
Many employers are reconsidering the possibility of mandating vaccines in their workforces as a condition for returning to or continuing in-person work.
In the next few days we will be issuing other guidance including outlining the options for such employers and the limitations placed on vaccine policies under state and federal law.
Michael S. Moore is the head of the Labor and Employment Practice Group and a member of the firm's management committee. He focuses on litigation of discrimination cases, wage-hour collective actions, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, FMLA and employee and supervisor training. He is also a frequent speaker on a variety of employment law topics.
H. Wayne Young is a partner with the firm and a member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. His practice focuses on employment and labor law including discrimination matters, harassment, wage and hour compliance, family and medical leave and covenants not to compete. He advises his clients in these matters from the compliance stage, to defending government investigations and litigation if necessary.
Disclaimer: The information included here is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for legal advice nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact one of our Attorneys.