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Title: “Discussing Employers Requiring Vaccines”
Guest: Mark Furman – Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers
Interviewer: Jonathan Freedman – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jonathan (0s):
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs, I’m Jonathan Friedman, and our next guest up is Mark Furman, Director of Tarlow Breed Hart & Rogers. Welcome again, Mark.

Mark (9s):
Hello there, Jonathan. It’s great to be with you, a nice to be with you to you.

Jonathan (13s):
It seems as though you’re and I are talking to a more regular basis, which is always a pleasure

Mark (17s):
Is pleasure for me. So, and of

Jonathan (20s):
Course, you’ve got something really topical today. You want to talk about a, this movement in our country, a or at least the beginning of a movement towards required vaccinations in the workplace.

Mark (32s):
Yes. What I mean, where, as we’ve seen COVID cases on the rise again with the Delta area and apparently being the dominant strain, you know, we’ve got a country, that’s a lot of people are vaccinated in a lot of people aren’t and although there’s ample supply, so people don’t want it to be vaccinated for typically one or two reasons. One is a well actually through, for religious reasons, some kind of a medical issue or, or they, they just don’t want it to be vaccinated because either they don’t trust the vaccine or the government or whatever.

Mark (1m 21s):
So, you know, the

Jonathan (1m 22s):
Beliefs that the government is trying to inject you with some sort of tracking devices, if that’s what we need to be spending our money on seem to be marked at that, that second bucket, we can easily carve out because if people have medical conditions that precludes them from getting vaccines, that’s pretty straight forward. You know, in most cases I would imagine requires a doctor’s note that says, you know, it’s, it’s not safe for this person to have a vaccine for various medical issues. So w we can almost check that box pretty easily.

Mark (1m 51s):
Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, we’re on the religious a, you know, views you, no, we have a strong history of people being able to freely exercise the religious, you know, requirements in this country and the separation of church and state in all of that, it goes back really to the formation of our country and our, the current makeup of the United States Supreme court certainly is sympathetic to religious a concern. But you run into the question now, a, you know, with employers, AZ, the incidents of COVID a increased some cases to dramatically, should employers require or vaccinations.

Mark (2m 46s):
If people wants to work at, for the company and needed to work in person, as opposed to remotely, one thing that’s been obvious from the last year and half is certain jobs. You know, there’s no need to work in person and, but other people have to, and many of those jobs are low paying, not all. And a, when those folks aren’t vaccinated than a, you know, you have the question of their impact on other employees, because there can be a breakthrough cases and people who have been vaccinated and they can have mild or no symptoms catch the vaccine and transmitted to other people.

Mark (3m 45s):

Jonathan (3m 46s):
So, so it seemed to me that this opens up a Pandora’s box a as always is the case in his policy. And, and, and certainly employment cases, you know, thus far the trend, or at least the turning of the tide seems to be largely government and healthcare or leading the charge. And, and I guess it starts there probably more S to a business at some porn industry, or perhaps certain industries ahead of others. And it would seem to me, it’s, it’s relatively easy. Government can mandate those things easier than private business. I think in a lot of cases, they have the resources, the policymakers, the, that the legal mine’s on staff, generally M healthcare, I think you could argue there on the frontlines or servicing in vulnerable populations.

Jonathan (4m 31s):
It’s a, it’s a much easier rationale if you will, or, or, or, or, or there’s logic to it. I guess the question happens, what happens when industry starts to adopt these things and, and get we get pushed, or is that some sort of the way you would envision the trend going?

Mark (4m 50s):
So I think so, but I think there is an important to overlay, which is that because of COVID there, or many workers who have a greater employment opportunities than they had before. COVID, I think that the, you know, greater opportunities and people who have a, a work-life balance in a employers that are going up, we need to cater to that. So I think that’s a, that’s a fact, or the business owners have to consider.

Mark (5m 30s):
I always tell people, go get employment practices, liability insurance, so that when somebody claims that you are discriminating against them, a for whatever reason, you have the potential to get coverage, or at a minimum defense costs paid, it’s very inexpensive compared to other types of insurance. It’s a, it to me, it’s a no brainer. And I can’t tell you how many cases I defended over the years we were at this insurance or been in place, or the company was saying is just a ton of money and defense cost.

Mark (6m 18s):
So, you know, so that’s one thing you should do, but ultimately I think the decision comes down to, you know, what’s in the best interest of the company and what’s in the best interests of the employees. When you look at them as a group, as opposed to individual by individual, I mean, there is an element here of being part of the community and the common good. And if you have an outbreak, a of one person you’re impacting numerous people in the business, you’re, you’re putting a lot of other people, yeah.

Mark (7m 10s):
Risk or who have people in their lives who can’t be vaccinated or aren’t vaccinated, or have compromised immune system or infants or toddlers who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated. So, you know, we’re seeing this conflict between let’s call it individual freedom, the right to do whatever you want with your body. I guess a versus the common good is being a part of the community. What’s the REIT, what’s the right balance.

Mark (7m 51s):
They’re for a, an employer I’ve read about companies, huge companies that have said everybody is going to go back to, or, or in person a, my, from at the moment is work wherever you feel, you can be most productive and are comfortable, but at some point will probably move towards hybrid model. And, you know, we’ve talked about the show before you go for lawyers. It’s been so unbelievably seamless to work remotely.

Mark (8m 36s):
Well, you know, I handle litigation. So in dealing with disputes, I go to court on zoom. It’s very efficient. I went to a actually person too, a hearing the first time, a very recently, and I’m going again for the second time today, I was comfortable the first time and a, we’ll see what it looks like today with all of the plexiglass. So that’s been installed. It separates everybody.

Mark (9m 16s):
So in

Jonathan (9m 16s):
The industry is or have adopted, you know, how incredibly well a lot of companies have pivoted, so that a, at least the perception is that it feels safe. You know, the, the, the thing that I have always said about this is what we’re dealing with a virus that you can see. So yeah, of course it feels safe, you know, because you can’t see it coming at you, you know, but at least the precautions are in a place. What are the things that strikes me about what we were talking about, mark his is, you know, or, or we now a budding up on that fine line of HIPAA whereby you know, if people are, or are not vaccinated in a year now require to disclose some sort of health issue, are employers going to run into challenges with that? Or somebody says, oh, it’s not your business. What I’ve done, I would imagine that’s coming.

Mark (10m 0s):
I would think so. I would think so. You know, there’s I say, you know, with the baseball players, they’re, you know, there is no, I think it’s a 85% of the team has been vaccinated in a certain protocols. They don’t have to go through in football,

Jonathan (10m 22s):
But at the same as if you no 15% or one and a six players, it it’s is acceptable.

Mark (10m 31s):
So do you see a certain players don’t wanna answer the question of where they had been vaccinated when they have been asked by reporters, which is, you know, which is their right a I think, but you know, how strong should an employer be about making sure that people are vaccinated and, you know, that’s the debate that we’re going to be having in this country. And if the case is continued to a increase, and if we face, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re in the middle of the, you know, this is a lot of rain, but it’s summer.

Mark (11m 13s):
We had very few cases in the summer of 2020, but

Jonathan (11m 18s):
Is people get back in doors

Mark (11m 20s):
And get passionate. It’s a real concern. The difference is they’re all there. Or to differences. One is so many people have been vaccinated, but there’s also the variants, you know, the, the, the viruses not stagnant, its trying to outsmart us. And so you, no, we just gotta watch the cases in, see how, how would it goes?

Jonathan (11m 48s):
Absolutely is I said a,

Mark (11m 50s):
A red Sox game with 35,000 of my closest friends the other night, that was a different experience. John and I have a five mass a month, 35,000 people. Yeah.

Jonathan (12m 8s):
Really amazing in parts of it and how it, how it differentiates around the country too. A it or I was shocked over the weekend, spent the time and a retail store or which I hadn’t done it in a while. And a one story I was in, I would say 90% of the people were wearing masks and this was in Massachusetts. Now I doubt that that’s happening. Like, you know, the, the Mason Dixon line, but a, it, it seems to me that we’re forming these a, you know, significant differences around the country again. And a thread is real. Then, you know, as you’ve alluded to a, a today is Delta were hearing a tid-bits of Lambda viruses. Don’t stop is going to keep morphing and tell it can find, you know, ways, the host itself a in other ways.

Jonathan (12m 50s):
So I think, you know, leave it to the public health officials tell us what’s in their best interest, but it clearly, it seems that we’re, we’re handing down a path to different populations. One that’s vaccinated in one that’s not. And, and, and the Nazim to not be fairing very well right now. So,

Mark (13m 7s):
Well, I’ve heard Florida has the most new cases. And, you know, when I think there was a lot of, not some Florida,

Jonathan (13m 16s):
So it’s really well for vulnerable population. Cause it also has perhaps a, well, it’s got a mix, but certainly a geriatric population as well. So that’s a little frightening. And, and again is we talked about earlier in this segment, we’ve got a lot of people in the healthcare industry that, or, you know, 15% that probably translates my guesses or, or, or for about 50%. We’re talking about millions of people are working in the health care industry have chosen now to get vaccinated at this point. And that’s a frightening in and of itself. I think so. Yeah. You would think certain, certain things, you see you working in a hospital environment to see these things in a day in day out basis, it might move you to, to make some decisions that, or as you pointed out at the best interests, not only of myself or my family and people around me, but my community is so interesting stuff.

Jonathan (14m 0s):
A mark, I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about it on this subject or moving forward. I hope it’s all good, but a needless to say there’s probably gonna be some challenges in a lot of challenges often come litigations. So that’s what keeps Marc from in a busy mark wants the best way for people to reach you. If they want a chat about this subject or others.

Mark (14m 18s):
Hi, it can be

Jonathan (14m 34s):
Excellent. Or guests has been marked from in director Tarlow Breed, Hart, Rogers, Always a pleasure to see you on Radio Entrepreneurs.

Mark (14m 41s):
Thanks, Jonathan. Great to be with him.

Jonathan (14m 43s):
It will be right back with another segment on Radio Entrepreneurs.

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