CHICAGO (CBS) — Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration for full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, and the trickle down effects could have a big impact, including whether schools or employers can require vaccinations.
But the trickle down effects could have a big impact – including whether schools can require your kids to be vaccinated or employers.READ MORE: 'We Are Resilient' Chatham Residents Respond To Weekend Mass Shooting
The Fifty/50 Group, the company that oversees The Second City Chicago restaurant service and 13 Chicago eateries, has mandated that all employees must be fully vaccinated to remain on the schedule. Companies can legally make mandates like this, but three categories of Americans may be exempted, regardless of where they work — religious groups, unions and people with disabilities.
“If the employer’s workforce is unionized then under the Labor Relations Act, the employer would be required to negotiate with the union,” said Professor Martin Malin, an employment law professor.
If the FDA moves from authorization of the Pfizer vaccine to formal approval, it could both embolden employers to call workers back and quell concerns of the vaccine reluctant.
“The wise employer would use that to further persuade the vaccine reluctant,” said Malin.READ MORE: More Events Announced For 'Open Chicago' But Major Festivals Absent This Year
He said incentives like gift cards are likely a smarter approach than threats.
“It can turn employees around from resenting being told ‘You must do this’ to ‘It’s cool. I’ll do it,'” Malin said.
A new study from Arizona State University finds 88% of employers plan to require or encourage employees to be vaccinated, 59% plan to incentivize vaccination, and 60% will require proof of vaccination.
And the list of colleges requiring vaccinations this fall to return to campus continues to grow. They include: DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Roosevelt University, Notre Dame and Valparaiso.
Unions, for the most part, have been harmonious in working with employers. Perhaps the biggest single exception, Malin says, is The Chicago Teachers Union.MORE NEWS: Massive Chemical Plant Fire In Rockton, Illinois, Could Burn For Days
Pfizer will spend the next few weeks providing the key data for the approval process. Pfizer has asked for what is called priority review, which asks the FDA to take action within six months, so the fastest would probably be the start of 2022.