The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced it will require all of its 1,100 staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or face termination.
“We are instituting a new policy requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August as a condition of continuing employment,” the Minneapolis Fed said in a press release earlier this week. While some exceptions for those with medical conditions or “sincerely held religious beliefs” do apply, it is unclear what conditions and beliefs fall into that category.
Presently, about 20% of workers at the Minneapolis Fed are not vaccinated. The bank says that if this number of unvaccinated people were higher, it would not be able to impose a vaccination requirement; but because the dissenting group is so small the bank feels it can force the shots with little consequence.
“We recognize that if our vaccination rate were lower, say 50 percent, this would be a more difficult decision. But with so many of our employees voluntarily doing their part to keep us safe, asking our remaining colleagues to also do their part just makes sense,” the Fed says.
The bank also reports that its vaccinated employees do not feel safe around unvaccinated people. Those who have received the shot are reportedly worried that they’ll catch COVID-19 from those who have not, becoming a vector for disease that could potentially infect vulnerable populations. Dr. Lyssette Cardona of the Cleveland Clinic says this is unlikely.
As vaccine mandates like this one are rolled out across the nation, many have argued it’s illegal for employers to impose such a requirement on employees. However, as the Fed points out in its press release, “the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] has confirmed that the law allows an employer to require all employees entering the workplace to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
The EEOC primarily exists to enforce civil rights laws in the workplace. It released a “technical assistance” document in May clarifying that federal equal employment opportunity laws “do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19.” This statement has become the basis for countless vaccine mandates like the one at the Minneapolis Fed. It is also widely cited by the mainstream media from The New York Times to Health as the reason there should be no objection to employer vaccine mandates.
Meanwhile, vaccine skeptics are reportedly becoming more skeptical and less likely to get the shot, armed with a mounting body of evidence that suggests there may be more dangerous side effects than the public was previously led to believe.
Currently, the rate of vaccine-related heart inflammation is more than 120% higher among young people than health officials expected it would be, according to data reported by NBC. This condition, called myocarditis or pericarditis, is potentially fatal and likely took the life of 13-year-old Jacob Clynick who died in Michigan with an inflamed heart earlier this week after getting vaccinated.
Despite this, Pfizer is seeking emergency authorization for its vaccine to be distributed to children ages 5-11 by this fall.