Human communication

North Bay employers question how federal vaccine mandate works


“As we were navigating COVID, if we were to close a branch, we had to find staff from different places. Every day people didn’t know where they were working, ”Zaret said. “All of these changes were short-term. I think that with that we can take a lot of stress out of people’s schedules and plans. This can give us stability.

As of June, 13 bank workers have tested positive for COVID-19, which Zaret said is “considerably higher than before”. She said all of them resulted from exposure to infected people outside of the workplace.

To deal with unforeseen events, human resources are now available 24/7 to alleviate the situation before the start of the working day.

“We make sure if we need it, we clean the office, or we close the office, or we keep someone at home,” Zaret said.

Ghilotti is extremely angry that government officials are passing more spending on to businesses. He expects the cost of COVID testing to fall on his construction company because he has not heard otherwise.

“I predict that tens of thousands of dollars will be spent each week to pay unionized employees to comply with this regulation,” said Ghilotti, who is the third generation to run the company. “The unions are not going to say that you can demand that my union employee be on a job site 20 minutes earlier and that you don’t pay him. We will certainly absorb those costs. “

Ghilotti predicts that it will take 10 to 15 minutes to administer the test. It’s during the working day so it could affect the whole team. It could mean stopping an entire paving crew during that time, not just one person.

Around 350 people work for the construction company, of which around 270 are in the field and 80 in office jobs.

Since the contracts are in place, it is not possible to pass on additional overhead costs to customers; at least not for current jobs.

“I think the overriding problem is the constant and endless barrage of attacks on small businesses, especially in California,” Ghilotti said. “This is really what drives a lot of generational business leaders to sell their businesses. You are just overwhelmed. We’re fortunate to have enough good senior management and staff support to handle things like this, but in small businesses it’s the owner who has to take responsibility for everything and make sure it’s compliant. .

Confront the problem

For a number of companies, the federal rule won’t matter because they already have equal or more restrictive protocols in place.

As of June 1, the Brayton Purcell law firm in Novato has required all of its nearly 140 employees who come to the office to present their vaccination cards.

“We really didn’t have a lot of hindsight. Some have decided to work from home, ”said Jennifer Gotti, head of human resources.

All future hires must be vaccinated if they are going to work in the office, she added.

The company organized a lunch for everyone, but only the vaccinated were allowed to attend. Even a COVID test wouldn’t allow someone to enter.

At Lixit Corp. in Napa, the rule fell at the end of August that if you don’t get vaccinated you won’t have a job.

The company is the world’s largest manufacturer of small animal drinkers.

Bank of Marin reports a vaccination rate of over 90% for its 360 workers.

“Bank of Marin has a vaccination and testing policy that states that employees who are not fully vaccinated must be tested twice a week,” explained Bob Gotelli, director of human resources.

September 17 was the deadline set by the Dominican University of California at San Rafael for faculty and staff to be fully immunized. As of September 10, 91% of the 440 employees on campus were vaccinated.

Students were told in early August that they had to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption to attend fall classes, which began on August 23. Currently, there is also a 91% vax rate for this population.

“If exemptions are approved, all unvaccinated people must participate in weekly testing with a PCR test at one of Marin County’s free testing sites. Test results must be submitted by midnight Thursday of each week, ”explained Sarah Gardner, Director of Communications.

For distance teaching, a number of criteria are in place, including the provision of “a letter from a primary health care provider outlining the conditions that necessitate this request”.

Wearing a mask is mandatory indoors regardless of the person’s vaccination status. Voice amplifiers were purchased to ensure that students could hear the masked teachers. Dominican has also created a handful of outdoor classroom spaces that can be booked by instructors.

The college did not provide a price for monitoring all COVID protocols, but Gardner said, “Several of our employees have absorbed additional work related to COVID. Last year, we established a Pandemic Response Team, made up of staff from various departments on campus to oversee and coordinate various procedures, communications and responses. Our Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs has also taken on the additional role of Campus COVID-19 Response Manager. She oversees communication with public health officials.


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