To mandate vaccines or not mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees? That’s a question many private businesses are evaluating. The discussion is at the forefront after Governor David Ige recently announced the requirement for state and county employees.
KITV4 reached out to more than a dozen companies on Wednesday, including hotels, construction and retail. All of them say they are still evaluating and do not have any official plans. The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has created a survey that hopes to provide perspective on which direction industries are headed.
Sherry Menor McNamara, chamber president, says the survey’s results will be a good tool for businesses when it comes to how to mandate Coronavirus vaccinations.
“Whether it’s legal, other types of challenges that pose a lot of questions. We’re just waiting to see. It’s just a complex issue right now,” Menor McNamara said.
She hopes more companies will consider jumping on board because the momentum to rebuild the economy must continue after a slow 2020.
“The goal is to get as many people vaccinated. With the delta variant, it just provides some type of disruption to what the future looks like,” Menor McNamara said.
In the local retail industry, Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, reports most employees have already got the shot.
“They’re working with the public everyday. For them, they don’t want to bring the disease home to their family or be the one who spreads it to kupuna or children. Ultimately, these people get sick,” Yamaki said.
Yamaki says some employers don’t want to be the only company in the industry a vaccination requirement.
“That is always a concern. We don’t want to lose your employees, especially your good employees,” she said.
There are a few local private companies that have already announced mandatory Coronavirus vaccination policies, including Hawaiian Airlines, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Territorial Savings.