Happy Earth Tea on South Avenue in Rochester requires its staff to be vaccinated, but it will not require it for customers considering how difficult it can be to verify proof of vaccination.
“In terms of a mandate for our clients, I think that would be really difficult for us to enforce,” says Mary Boland, founder and owner of Happy Earth Tea. “Putting this burden on small businesses, I think, is very difficult. “
At Record Archive in Rochester, 16 of 17 staff received the vaccine without a warrant from the store. Managers say they’re not going to make a rule about vaccinating employees or customers, but they strongly recommend it.
“Warrants are one of those things… it instantly puts people on the defense,” says Alayna Alderman, vice president of archival records, “So I don’t think that’s a good position to have. I can say I suggest it, I highly encourage you.
Other companies let employees and customers decide for themselves. The owner of Park Ave Pets sent News10NBC a statement saying, “I don’t believe it’s my job to try to control people’s choices about their own bodies or their health. “
So News10NBC reached out to an expert to ask… if companies need the vaccine, are they breaking the law?
” The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission has issued guidelines indicating that employers can require employees to receive the vaccine in order to work, ”said Karen Sanders, senior counsel at the law firm of Tully Rinckey.
But, there is a catch – if employers need the vaccine, they should be aware of the possible exemptions.
“There must be exceptions for people with disabilities who are unable to get vaccinated or potentially religious exemptions,” says Sanders.
Sanders also pointed out that there are certain benefits for employers who require the vaccine for clients. Restaurants, for example, can allow more people to enter (and potentially earn more money) if the vaccine is required for customers.
“Customers also have a choice,” says Sanders. “If they don’t want to be vaccinated, they just don’t go to this facility. ”