'Me, me, me my body': LinkedIn users exchange heated comments over vaccine mandates

LinkedIn posted a poll on Aug.19 asking workers if employers should mandate their employees be fully vaccinated before returning to the workplace. The poll promptly went viral and garnered tens of thousands of comments and likes before closing on Aug. 26. Emotions are still flaring up as additional comments were added on Friday.

The results reveal a split among workers and employers over whether vaccines should be mandated: 46% say it’s necessary, while 48% say vaccines shouldn’t be mandatory in order to return to the office, maintaining that “autonomy is a must.” Seven percent of respondents said “it depends.” More than 127,000 LinkedIn users voted.

The divide echoes the tension surrounding this issue across the country. While many companies including BlackRock, Walmart, and Microsoft have mandated that workers be vaccinated at their offices, that policy is not uniform among employers – plenty of workers have no interest in being told by their boss that they have to get a Covid vaccine.

Mandates have become a popular way for companies to ensure their employees are vaccinated – and this week Delta Air Lines said it would financially penalize employees who didn’t get vaccinated. Unvaxxed employees will have to pay an additional $200 a month for company-sponsored healthcare, the airline said on Wednesday. Other employers may also be considering a premium surcharge for workers who refuse to get vaccinated.

Many workers offered various reasons for opposing an employer vaccine requirement.

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LinkedIn

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LinkedIn

Some LinkedIn users opposed to vaccine mandates criticized employers requiring them, while disseminating some Covid disinformation about “a non-existing virus.”

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LinkedIn

Others LinkedIn users objected to the vitriolic tone of some of the comments on the poll.

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LinkedIn

Plenty of other commenters defended vaccine mandates.

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LinkedIn

Of course, employers can legally mandate their employees be vaccinated against Covid-19. are within their legal rights to mandate employees be vaccinated. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says federal anti-discrimination laws don’t prohibit employers from requiring vaccines in the workplace.

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LinkedIn

Most U.S. adults say vaccine proof should be required at work, according to a different study published on Aug. 16 by CivicScience, a consumer research platform.

As an increasing number of job postings come with vaccine requirements for employment, LinkedIn asked users if job seekers should add their vaccination status to their resumes. Michael Neece, CEO of InterviewMastery.com who has spent over 20 years as a recruiter, cautions against it.

“Saying that you are fully vaccinated is kind of a net positive. It’s just checking the box,” Neece told Yahoo Finance. “But if you disclose you’re unvaccinated, that could be negative.”

Among workers planning to ask their co-workers about their vaccine status: 28% said they’ll ask everyone they work closely with, and 24% said they would only ask if they felt it was necessary, according to LinkedIn data.

“This is a very sensitive topic and it could appear adversarial to one of your work colleagues,” said Neece.

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Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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