The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, citing the resurgence of COVID-19, urged businesses Wednesday to impose vaccine requirements on staff returning to their worksites.
Many companies have done so, but some have said they are reluctant to mandate the vaccines in a tight job market. The reluctance is strong in places such as restaurants or stores that have found workers in short supply.
But the chamber, with more than 1,000 member companies, said vaccines are essential unless employees have valid health or religious reasons. It also suggested exceptions for employers who have strict masking and testing procedures in place.
“Businesses are in a unique position to help change the direction of the pandemic, and we encourage businesses of all sizes and industries to require vaccinations so we can protect ourselves, those around us, and continue on our path to economic recovery,” said Jack Lavin, the chamber’s president.
Such a policy will protect an organization’s employers, as well as people around the country working in health care, teaching, delivery and other occupations with a lot of public interaction, Lavin said.
The chamber’s decision follows President Joe Biden’s decision to require vaccines or regular testing for all federal workers and on-site contractors. Mandates have drawn opposition from some public-employee labor unions.