Duffy: 100+ employee vaccine mandate has some seeking smaller companies


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The federal vaccine mandate introduced by President Biden last week is already facing backlash among some local employees.

Bob Duffy, the CEO and President of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, told News 8 about a conversation with a local chief executive about some employees expressing a desire to leave for smaller companies to avoid the mandate.

Duffy stressed his full support for the Rochester area getting vaccinated, and stressed the responsibility should be on individuals to be vaccinated.

“What [The CEO] is seeing now are employees who are looking at the mandate, and looking for employment at companies who employ less than 100 people,” Duffy explained, “and his contention is ‘hey, listen, I have followed all the rules, most of my employees have – I’ve had a hard time getting staffing throughout the last year with all the different benefits that really kept people out of work, and now I’m facing this coming up where I’ve done everything the right way, and now I’ll have a hard time keeping employees, and they’re clearly making decisions to go.'”

The mandate was put in place to drive up vaccination numbers, and build immunity against COVID-19. As of this weekend, roughly 60 percent of New York State was fully vaccinated against the virus.

“Here’s a CEO who is well known, well respected, runs a great company, follows all the rules, who throws his hands up in the air with this,” Duffy added. “And now he will be further penalized as employees who have been there for many years will choose to go elsewhere for whatever their personal reasons are.”

As part of the mandate, which is set to affect millions of private sector employees, companies are also required to offer a weekly testing option.

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