Evaluating The Pros And Cons of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

The development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines have provided some form of relief for employers and employees interested in returning to “business as usual.” The vaccines can reduce the chances of employees, their families, and the communities they serve from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Although the federal government has permitted employers to mandate vaccines for in-house staff, the decision isn’t as easy as you might think. 


Let’s start with the advantages of COVID-19 mandates in the workplace. 

  • Get Employees Back In The Workplace (safely) – If you’ve been working with remote teams, operating with a small in-house team, or haven’t reopened yet, requiring that employees get a vaccine can make things more manageable. You can open business again with fewer fears that there could be an outbreak. Getting staff back to the workplace would ultimately improve productivity. 
  • Peace of Mind – Some employees are fearful about returning to work while the pandemic is still underway. If everyone was required to get vaccinated, this could ease their fears. Peace of mind will boost workplace morale and productivity. 
  • Safeguard Customers – Company-mandated vaccination policies also reduce the chances that customers will contract COVID-19. This may be especially important if employees come in close contact with children, senior citizens, or customers with existing medical conditions that deem them high-risk. 


Employees back in the workplace, high morale, increased productivity, and the protection of the general public are all ideal reasons to consider a company-mandated vaccination program. Now, let’s look at the disadvantages. 

  • Employee Complaints/Discrimination Issues – Not everyone is on board with getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Essentially requiring or “forcing” employees to take the test could cause many issues for your company. Some individuals may believe their civil liberties are being violated. They feel as if you’re taking away their right to choose, which could cause some frustration. Some employees are protected by the Civil Rights Act section VII that states they have a right to reject a vaccine due to religious beliefs. Employees with disabilities or existing medical conditions may feel like taking the vaccine would cause a hindrance or complications. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands, which could be very costly. 
  • Adverse Reactions – If an employee gets the COVID-19 vaccine to comply with company policies and something goes wrong, you could be on the hook. As an employer, you may be responsible for covering their time out of work, medical bills, and other associated costs from the adverse reaction to the vaccine. 
  • Smaller Workforce – Requiring employees to get a vaccine to keep their jobs could result in a smaller workforce. Ultimately, you’ll have to fire anyone that isn’t interested in taking the vaccine (personal preferences, religious beliefs, disabilities, or otherwise). Even if you decide to hire new staff, not all applicants are willing to go through the interview process, a criminal background check, and now a COVID-19 vaccine before they can start working. Consequently, you may find that it takes longer to fill vacant positions. 

Making A Decision

Deciding whether a company-mandate for coronavirus vaccines is best for your business or not is a difficult choice to make. On the one hand, you can reduce the risk of spread and make employees feel more secure to return to the workplace. On the other hand, you run the risk of violating civil liberties and the civil rights and disabilities acts. Making an informed decision may require consulting with human resources and attorneys to provide you with more information. 

You’d think that vaccinations for COVID-19 would be advantageous for employers nationwide, but it’s not black and white. Although your goal is to keep everyone safe, improve productivity, and hopefully, your bottom line, this isn’t a decision to make lightly. Take your time, get all the facts, learn the laws in your state, consult with experts, and then make a final decision that works best for all involved parties.