A growing number of employers now requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all new hires

As more people return to work, we are beginning to see a new trend in what employers want in a job candidate. Increasingly, what they want are people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Data collected by Indeed.com, the nation's most used online job posting and recruiting site with a worldwide reach, makes the budding point.

For many employers, applicants often need a mixture of skills, a degree or certificate, relevant experience, and a valid COVID-19 vaccination card. 

The Delta Variant and concern over new variants is only making it a bigger priority for employers.

As of the week ending on August 7, the share of job postings requiring a COVID-19 vaccination has risen 34% compared to the same period the month before. Job postings that require vaccination but not specifically saying a COVID-19 vaccination rose 90%. 

"Employers can require vaccinations for return to work of coming onto work with certain limited exceptions regarding health and religion," said labor lawyer and former EDD Director Michael Bernick.

Employer reasonings are two fold. 

"For a safe workplace and to give other workers, incumbent workers and new workers confidence that they can come back to the workplace," said Bernick. 

And, employers want to avoid unnecessary employee absenteeism, lost shifts, or worse. 

"You could have a real mass outbreak on a site where you have a lot of employees in close proximity and pretty quickly you start looking at a lot of legal and financial liabilities," said Stephen Baiter, Executive Director of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

A sprouting phenomenon. 

"You can see the number are going up but, in some ways, what's interesting is, the numbers haven't gone up more," said Bernick. 

That will soon change substantially. "At the point that the FDA moves into a place where it's beyond Emergency Use Authorization, I imagine we'll see more and more companies fall behind that and really start to mandate vaccination," said Baiter.

In fact, on Friday the Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorsed a plan to require its member's employees to be vaccinated. The Bay Area Council, a consortium of the Bay Area's largest employers are likely to do the same very soon. 

"Companies are needing to be very careful and hedge their bets a little bit and avoid taking a lot of risks," Baiter said.

Even though we have more than 3 million Californians currently on unemployment assistance, job postings this week are up 14% over those pre-pandemic days.