Kate Rigby, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Boston office, was quoted in Agenda, in “SCOTUS Blocks Vaccination Mandate, Some Companies to Press Ahead,” by Jennifer Williams-Alvarez.

Following is an excerpt:

The high court yesterday blocked a vaccination mandate, resolving for now one unknown for companies but leaving questions and potential challenges for those companies that were waiting to see how the court would rule or were hoping to point to the government as the impetus for a mandate. …

Uncertainty Continues

Still, whether companies can and should require employees to get vaccinated remains a divisive issue.

Legally, attorneys told Agenda, employers are generally on safe ground as long as they make an effort to provide reasonable accommodations to employees seeking religious or medical exemptions from mandates. Reputationally, though, companies can take a hit and may face the prospect of losing some employees, attorneys told Agenda. …

As for what companies should do amid the uncertainty, some have moved forward with their own mandates, said Katherine Rigby, a member at law firm Epstein Becker & Green, who spoke generally. …

“The [OSHA rule] does provide some cover for employee relations as far as one of the reasons employers may be implementing these policies,” she said. “But I think it’s also so important for employers to think about how they communicate on these policies, whether it’s because of the [rule] or the desire to protect employees, and thinking about the best way to communicate to the workforce.

“I think companies are in a difficult spot right now, grappling with how to move forward, given the uncertainty.”

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