While COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown to drastically reduce the spread of COVID and prevent critical illness from the virus, there are many concerns over the employment mandates that have been issued by companies all across the country. Employers are hopeful that requiring vaccinations in their employees will reduce the number of infections that spread throughout the work environment. COVID-related work absences not create lost work time, but also creates a liability with regard to an influx of workers’ compensation claims.
The Impact of Vaccine Mandates
One unintended complication of an employer’s mandate for vaccinations among employees is the potential for workers comp and COVID-19 vaccine reaction claims. There are documented situations where adverse reactions occurred to the vaccine, though these are very rare occurrences. If vaccine-related injuries occur as a result of the mandate, it can put undue pressure on an already costly insurance expense for many companies. Claims of injury or illness by the vaccine appear to fulfill the three compensable requirements of workers’ comp law.
Conversely, companies must be concerned about the costs related to unvaccinated employees being infected with COVID-19 and potential liabilities of a workers’ comp claim. Research indicates that the risks and burden on workers’ comp benefits are lower when considering the potential for adverse reactions, but company must weight the full implications of mandates before making a final decision in the matter.