Kate Rigby, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Boston office, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal, in “Carhartt Stuck with Its Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate. The Backlash Ensued.” by Joseph De Avila. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

One week after apparel company Carhartt Inc. declared it was keeping its Covid-19 vaccine mandate in place, the company defended its plans despite growing pushback from customers and on social media. 

Some people said they would stop buying Carhartt products and said the company shouldn’t be forcing its employees to choose between getting vaccinated and keeping their job. Other customers welcomed the company’s mandate and thanked Carhartt for keeping their employees safe. …

Businesses are being forced to weigh the trade-offs that come with implementing a vaccine mandate or not requiring vaccinations for their employees, said Kate Rigby, an attorney with law firm Epstein Becker & Green who advises companies on employment issues. 

One factor that businesses are taking into account is how a mandate would affect employees. A vaccine mandate may alienate some workers, but others might be scared about sharing workspaces with workers who aren’t vaccinated, she said. 

“From a customer standpoint, [companies] are grappling with what their customer base demands of them, and the potential blowback they may receive for actually implementing a mandate, deciding not to implement a mandate or rolling one back,” Ms. Rigby said. “Some are looking at what their competitors are doing and how having a different policy or the same policy as a competitor will affect their employee attrition and what it will do to customer attrition or attraction.”  

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