The issue of vaccination has been a contentious one for our community throughout the pandemic. Perhaps even more divisive is the debate centering on the legality of vaccine mandates and what power, if any, employers have to require their employees to be vaccinated.
Sensing these questions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance indicating that employers can legally require their employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as a condition of employment. Despite this guidance, concerns remained that other laws including the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FDCA) may have restricted an employer's ability to mandate the vaccine in light of its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, issued an opinion to the contrary in July of this year, stating that Section 564 of the FDCA permits employers to impose vaccination as a condition of employment despite the EUA. The opinion applies to both public and private employers.
All these things considered, it is no surprise that governmental bodies and private employers around our state have wrestled with new policies, how to apply them, and how to best inform their respective workforces of new requirements. While HLTA has not taken a public position on employer-mandated vaccination policies due to the wide variety of management groups, labor unions, and property types around the hospitality sector, we have been vocally supportive of statewide vaccination efforts.
As such, I want to take a moment to publicly laud the Kahala Hotel & Resort for announcing their decision to require vaccination among all of their employees. General Manager Joe Ibarra is to be commended for making this announcement.
If you have any questions about vaccination policies, please feel free to contact our offices at any time.
We are a just a few days into our first-ever, virtual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, and we have been seeing great participation! Though the technical "Walk Window" runs for just two weeks, we will be accepting donations to Charity Walk through the end of the month, so please continue your fundraising efforts and share this information with your family, friends and colleagues. There will be prizes available for select winners!
To contribute, please visit CharityWalkHawaii.org.
Finally, we are in need of information from our members. Below, you will find a link to a confidential Google Form with just a handful of short questions. I can assure you that this information will remain confidential and any interpretation of the information shared used in our advocacy efforts will not under any circumstance be attributed to a specific property, company, or organization.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this form, or would prefer not to answer in writing, please feel free to contact me directly at any time.
HLTA SURVEY - Please click here.
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