Many companies are facing job-specific owner requirements regarding the vaccination of employees that will be on site. Attached is a detailed memo from our attorney’s office regarding mandating vaccination. It is a mandatory subject of bargaining and therefore cannot be unilaterally mandated by an employer for your Local 638 employees. Here are a few bullet points to address some of the questions we have received to date. Please let me know if you have any follow up question on this, and we will do our best to get them answered:
- You can mandate vaccines for non-bargaining unit employees (office & management staff), as long as you provide an option for religious and medical exemptions.
- You can ask your union staff if they are vaccinated and ask for proof of vaccination, but you should not ask follow up questions about why an employee is not vaccinated. You can keep track of this information if necessary for sending vaccinated employees to certain customers. Even though this is technically not protected health information, this vaccination information should not be posted or distributed other than to those that need to access to it.
- Based on your customers’ requirements, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to let your employees know that there may be less work opportunities for those that do not have the vaccine. Our attorney believes that would be just cause for termination (as required in the Metal Trades CBA) if it got to the point where you did not have adequate work for some individuals.
- We have reached out to Local 638 to ask if they would consider signing a waiver that gave each individual employer the ability to decide if they want to have a company policy mandating vaccines, but have not yet received a decision on that matter.
Please note: the materials contained in this notice are being provided for informational purposes only and not intended to be the final word on the evolving laws and interpretations with respect to COVID-19 and vaccination guidance. All employers are encouraged to consult their own legal professionals to address any specific employment situations.