WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- As many workers return to their offices, tensions appear to be emerging between employees along new lines — the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.
- Many U.S. companies have introduced vaccine mandates for their workers.
- Divisions and hostility are expected to grow as more people return to the office.
Now that some work-from-home setups are over, many employees return to their offices. However, tensions seem to be emerging along new lines — the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.
In the U.S. in particular, companies have taken a rigorous approach toward employees’ Covid vaccination status, with many announcing that their staff must be fully vaccinated in order to return to the workplace.
Then, in late August, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot.
That approval is already inflaming workplace conflicts because it has meant that fewer employees can remain “on the fence” regarding vaccine safety, with some workers now hardening their stance on whether vaccines should be mandatory, particularly when it comes to their co-workers, according to one workplace consultancy.
Seyfarth at Work conducted surveys of hundreds of employees through to late August and found there was an increasing number of workplace conflicts related to vaccination.
Dividing respondents into two camps — the “vexed vaxxed” and “unnerved unvaxxed” — it reported that both sides of the debate, those for vaccination and those against it, felt a growing sense of resentment.
Some 37% of companies surveyed by Seyfarth at Work reported that vaccinated staff were angry and frustrated at the transmission risk posed by unvaccinated workers. The consultancy cited one East Coast fix-it company worker as saying: “I have a grandma and a toddler at home. Why should some twenty-something science denier put them both at risk?”
Vaccinated staff are also reportedly annoyed at the prospect of having to cover for colleagues who may become ill, while others object to differing workplace rules (such as two sets of masking protocols) due to those that are unvaccinated.
The unvaccinated, meanwhile, are complaining about their treatment at work, with 21% of the companies surveyed noting that unvaccinated staff are “crying foul at what they consider harsh judgment by others or better opportunities for vaccinated office-mates” as well as the burdens of regular testing requirements.
“In some workplaces we have seen a significant spike in hostility,” Corporate law expert Philippe Weiss, the president of Seyfarth at Work, said. “Human Resources contacts report the stress of attempting to manage the introduction of oft-changing Covid safety policies with, in some cases, an inundation of gripes from both the vaxxed and unvaxxed.”
There are a growing number sectors, both public and private, where employees are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Source: MSN News