PHOENIX - Officials with HonorHealth say by November, their workers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to a statement released on July 23, the company announced to its team members that COVID-19 vaccination will now be required as a condition of employment.
"Team members will be required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Monday, Nov. 1," read a portion of the statement.
Officials say the decision comes as COVID-19 continues to spread, impacted by the rise of several variants that are increasing the "severity and transmissibility of this infection."
"As a community healthcare system, we have a unique responsibility to keep our facilities as safe as possible to protect our patients and team members, especially as the risk environment rises," read a portion of the statement.
Other medical groups have made similar decisions
HonorHealth is not the only medical group to require COVID-19 vaccination. On July 20, Banner Health announced that it will, with limited exceptions, require more than 50,000 of its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Team members with Banner have until Nov. 1 to be fully vaccinated.
"We care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and we owe it to them to take every measure possible to ensure the safest care environment," said Peter Fine, president and CEO for Banner Health.
Banner Health has an incentive program for fully vaccinated employees. There will be drawings this month and next month with ten winners total receiving $10,000 each.
Are the mandates legal? Federal COVID-19 guidance says yes
At the end of May, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated COVID-19 guidance saying employers could mandate vaccinations for employees.
Local attorney Krizia Verplancke focuses on employment law and says of the mandate, "If an employee of an employer puts forth a vaccine mandate and an employee refuses to do it, that gives the employer grounds to terminate their employment."
However, employers have to comply with certain accommodations. For example, certain religious beliefs or health conditions preventing employees from getting the vaccine.
Verplancke says she works with many local businesses that are hesitant about enacting vaccine mandates.
"So you know, it depends on the risk that the employers are wanting to take and what they see as the benefit to their employees if they do put this type of mandate in place," she said.
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Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news
CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19 Vaccination
https://www.azdhs.gov/covid19/es/vaccines/index.php (In Spanish/En Español)