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Title: “How Delta Variant Has Forced Change On Employers”
Guest: Marc Zwetchkenbaum of Marc Z Legal Staffing
Interviewer: Jonathan Freedman – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jonathan (1s):
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs, I’m Jonathan Freedman and our next guest up our Ace reporter, Marc Z, Marc Z Legal Staffing needs no introduction, but nonetheless we will! Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs, Marc. Great to see you.

Marc (13s):
Great to see you too, Jon, great to be here and great to collaborate with you on, on timely employment issues that are faced.

Jonathan (22s):
But, you know, we don’t just hand out the ACE reporter status to everybody, anybody, and everybody, you get it because you’re always timely and topical today. You want to talk about something going on in real time in the Marcetplace. Tell us what do you want to chat about?

Marc (34s):
Thanks, Jon. I I’d like to talk about back to work health issues relating to COVID particularly How Delta Variant is thrown a wrench in a lot of company plans,

Jonathan (51s):
The new normal called needing to pivot every seven days as things change in the, in the grander scheme of how employers are reacting and prospective employees as well. So I suspect you’re seeing some, some changes from employers and you’re seeing maybe a little more hesitancy from applicants as well.

Marc (1m 10s):
That’s correct. No. I mean, you know what, even, you know, the buck stops here, even my own company, our company, and a lot of our clients planned to have everybody come back in some fashion, mostly in a hybrid role, meaning come back some days in the office, some days work remotely and really sort of tie that into what we’re talking about. The new normal that now employers did not need everybody to come in every day, but they saw the value and the importance of having employees come in, at least part of the time to connect, to discuss important issues, problems to bond a little bit, or just change the free flow of work.

Marc (1m 58s):
For example, slack can’t cover everything. Emails, texts can’t cover all issues or the dynamics, but now we have the Delta variant that’s getting worse and worse. Why? Because a lot of people would not be vaccinated. A lot of people said whether it’s a health reason, whether it’s a religious reason or more likely, they just did not think without FDA approval, they want it to be vaccinated. Even though there were studies, there were publications about the process, whether it’s a Pfizer Jonson and Jonson or the Madrona vaccine. And so, because we don’t have herd immunity, as you’ve heard about that’s now led to a Delta variant that now is having problems, not only across the country, but worldwide.

Marc (2m 48s):
So what companies are doing as you said, they have to pivot again and they have to say, what are we doing? And so there’s a pause now for a lot of companies that are like pushing it too October like labor secretary, Marty Walsh has said, or companies are saying, maybe we should wait until after the new year, as far as hiring Jon, we have other issues because a lot of companies and organizations are saying to us, we will not see a candidate if they have not been vaccinated or are planning to be vaccinated, but more likely they’re saying have not been vaccinated because we’ve had, since earlier this year, since at least April people have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Marc (3m 36s):
And if you’re not been exited, now that’s a concern. So

Jonathan (3m 39s):
It’s a major difference was ever quite a shift. Since we talked about this a few months ago, in terms of what happened, we were all sitting, I think in the first year of this waiting for the federal government to make determinations of how things would happen. Well, they’ve passed the buck and it’s now down to governors who it seems to me are now passing the buck. And now it’s down to local authorities, mayors, et cetera. And we’re starting to see a little bit at the state level and at the, at the local level of, you know, mass mandates and vaccination requirements. And, but businesses really stepped up in the last, I’d say 60 days and requiring vaccinations in a lot of cases. And now we’re starting to see, I think government mandating it in certain industries, you know, high risk industries, health, you know, senior care, nursing homes, things of that nature.

Jonathan (4m 25s):
And I think, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re going the other way where I’ve seen it myself with the number of clients who have now said, no enough is enough. We’ve given you every opportunity to vaccinate. We’re take our, you know, not have the health to your, your colleagues seriously, but our clients and customers that come into our place of business and we don’t want to be the ones responsible for transmission.

Marc (4m 45s):
Right. And you know what, there was the fear of the lawsuit, the fear of, okay, a disgruntled person will bring action or complain. But now you have a groundswell of employees that see people with masks. They are or know that somebody has not been vaccinated and they’re complaining and saying, we don’t want to come to work with people who are not vaccinated and we can get the Delta variant, even if we’ve been vaccinated. So that’s, what’s, what’s leading to a lot of employers saying, run the rate side of this. We understand your situation, but if you are not vaccinated, don’t come back to work unless you have a really good reason, a health reason, or religious reason that you can prove, you know,

Jonathan (5m 30s):
It’s amazing. And, you know, speaking to your industry, you know, I would imagine you’re going to see an updated tick in, in desire for employment related attorneys. Because I think, you know, to your point, we’re just that eventually the lawsuits catch up, you know, we’re going to start seeing some sort of discrimination, Victorian practice claims or, or, you know, you know, HIPAA violations, all of the above related to, you know, people saying, I don’t have to prove that I’m backstage to come to work and you can’t prevent me from coming or you can’t terminate me as a result of, but you know, I think that’s, that’s down the road, we’ll see something bad happening. But so, so tell us what the reality is on the ground that you’re seeing in terms of, you know, employers kicking the date or kicking the can down the road.

Jonathan (6m 16s):
Anyways, you’re pushing back dates for people to come back to the office. What’s the effect on prospective employees. And then what’s happening from the employee perspective of those ones that, you know, to your point, I don’t want to get on public transit with suspended Delta variant. I don’t want to have to come into the office. Are you seeing a, another surge? So to speak of people saying, I want to work remotely, I’m not interested in hybrid. I’m not interested in, in the office positions. Is that the demand or the request package that people were putting in?

Marc (6m 45s):
Yes. No, definitely. We’re seeing candidates that have said to us, unless it’s remote, I’m not interested. And so, first of all, I’m not interested in moving. So we just had a situation yesterday of somebody that we have recruited. And she said that she would be very interested, but only if the firm can commit to her working fully remote and short time ago, she was open to hybrid, but given everything going give it her personal situation with her family, she just doesn’t feel comfortable. So we’re losing candidates who might be good for roles because of what’s going on.

Marc (7m 26s):
Then we’re also, there are, there’s a pool of people that voluntarily went out of the Marcet and they were coming back and now they’re not going to come back. And then there’s some unemployed people that are really good candidates, but for the situation with COVID last year, they would be employed. They just, you know, when you lay people off, a lot of times, as you know, Jon being in your position, you have to do it by a certain groupings. So even if somebody is very good, maybe they’re are, they’re making a certain income or maybe it just, we, since we don’t know what’s going on, we’re going to lay you off.

Marc (8m 8s):
So some of these candidates now, their unemployment has been granted for another 30 something weeks. And so now they’re not on the Marcet. And then, so, and then you have people. The last thing is because there’s uncertainty in terms of what employers will do, a lot of candidates. If they’re not going to give me some certainty, then we’re not interested. So it is changing things is changing expectations, exchanging the game plan for the fall.

Jonathan (8m 42s):
Well, it really sets up a complex environment for employers. I think, because in these situations that I’ve seen, it’s kind of work. We’re going to draw a line in the sand. We’re going to establish a date by which, you know, we need our associates to be vaccinated. And then, you know, invariably, there’s the pushback. I can think of one instance where nominal pushback, but pushback nonetheless. And so you lost, you know, a handful of people. This is an employer that may have 70 or 80 people, you know, three or five of them said, you know, forget it, not interested in moving on. I think the first reaction or the employer is, well, maybe we should moderate, you know, maybe we should modify our standards. Yeah. Maybe we need to make an exception. And then, you know, sort of the pendulum swings the other way.

Jonathan (9m 23s):
And it’s like, wait a minute. If we make one exception, then we’re living in an exception land. So we can’t make any exceptions. So you get this push and pull, I think on the employer perspective of, you know, what’s the right thing to do. And I think a lot of them are digging deep into sort of their collective conscience, if you will, and saying, well, the right thing to do is to make sure that we can do whatever we can to protect people. And that’s to ensure that, you know, people are vaccinated and, you know, we’ll muddle through trying to find people to fill the roles who are vaccinated because well, thankfully in our Marcetplace, at least, you know, we’re 70, 80%, whatever that number is, depending on where you are in Massachusetts, but yeah, real problems in the south where you’ve got 37%, you know, or 32%, how do you find people that are yet enough people that are vaccinated?

Jonathan (10m 5s):

Marc (10m 5s):
Right. And you know, some firms are law firms, for example, say, you can be remote for the rest of your career, but the reality is at some point you have to go back. But the idea is going back within reason, the other factor, which we know, especially in Massachusetts, the economy is really good right now. Except unfortunately when these cases affect companies in the hospitality field, whether it’s restaurants, whether it’s hotels, whether it’s travel companies. So that section gets really affected and, and contributes to a lot of other situations. So that’s the balance that they keep.

Jonathan (10m 44s):
So really this is one of those themes we’ve been pressing for, for going on a year and a half. Now, you know, the more things change, the more they remain the same, which is a complete uncertainty, you know, be ready to pivot, be ready to make decisions on the fly, be ready to take current information and make new new determinations of how to, how to handle things. But I think the, the, the theme that we’ve heard about is, is change. Be ready for it because you know, what you think might exist today, tomorrow could change dramatically based on new information and nutrients. So always great to have you on Marc. This is Marc Z and Marc’s illegal staffing with an employment update. Marc. If people want to reach out to you and talk about the Marcetplace, talk about opportunities, talk about candidates, all of the above.

Jonathan (11m 27s):
What’s the best space for, for them to reach you. What’s the best way for them to reach out to you?

Marc (11m 32s):
Well, Thanks, Jon. Well, first of all, thank you again for having me on the show is great as always exchanging ideas and, and, and current events and in the dynamics of the Marcetplace with you, first of all, you can Google Marc Z MARC and the letter Z and our company will come right up or Marc Z, M a R C Z L E G a or 6 1 7 3 3 8 1 300.

Jonathan (12m 2s):
Excellent. You’re listening to Radio Entrepreneurs. This has been a employment update, Marc Z, the Marc Z. Marcs illegal staffing. And we’ll be right back with another segment on Radio Entrepreneurs.

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