WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – It’s one of Wilmington’s most well-known companies, and is behind the Real Vaccine ID Cards, now, CastleBranch has announced new COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees.
The question as to whether or not employers can require their employees to get the vaccine has been up for debate since the vaccine became available. The general consensus is yes, the vaccine can be required, but right now, it appears most companies are letting their staff make the decision on their own.
Even in the healthcare industry vaccines have not been made mandatory.
“The vaccine is not mandatory for team members at this time. Our efforts are focused on overcoming vaccine hesitancy by providing education and information sessions and offering convenient vaccination opportunities across our system,” Carolyn Fisher from NHRMC said.
But CastleBranch has taken a different approach and decided to make the vaccine compulsory, however, those who are unable to get a vaccine will still be accommodated.
“To strengthen our community we implemented the vaccine requirement but we also recognize that some people are unable to get the vaccine due to medical reasons, others for philosophical or religious beliefs, Amanda Sipes, a CastleBranch spokesperson said.
“We’re doing this because we feel like it’s the compassionate thing to do, we want to help keep our team members safe and our community safe – we also recognize that some people are not able to get the vaccine and we want to make sure those people are not left behind.”
Last month, as the region continued to see an increase in vaccine efforts and availability, WECT spoke with an employment attorney who confrimed it is legal for companies to require vaccines.
“They absolutely could deny employment based on refusal to get the vaccine,” said employment law attorney Benton Toups. “The two exceptions are religious objections or a condition that prevents the employee or the applicant from getting the vaccine.
However, at CastleBranch, opting out of the vaccine is easy for employees to do if they feel compelled to do so, and they will receive a waiver card as opposed to a Real Vaccination ID card, a system CastleBranch developed.