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Mandates (vaccine) and the Automotive Dealership Industry

Jeff Kershner

May 1, 2005
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I was a bit reluctant to post this, but I've had several industry friends reach out to me over the last week to discuss, with most asking me to start a discussion here on DealerRefresh around the topic. My natural fear of this particular discussion is the possible continuance of division - the opposite of intentions for the DealerRefresh community. PLEASE - before you click the "Post Comment" button, give your response a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th read-through.

After eight months of EUA (emergency use authorization,) the coronavirus shots have been "approved" by the FDA. Just a few days ago, Joe Biden and his administration announced a "vaccine mandate" - requiring companies (automotive dealerships) with more than 100 employees to request proof of vaccination against COVID-19 OR weekly testing.

I read about Toyota of Longview in TEXAS being the first to mandate vaccines for employees, before Biden had made any announcement:
"In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Toyota of Longview is requiring all employees be vaccinated, President Greg Michelsen said Wednesday." - Longview auto dealership mandates vaccines for employees.

Has your dealership implemented a "vaccine mandate?" Or plan to in the near future...


Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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In all seriousness, this topic is not easy for anyone.
Seems like everyone knows someone who had a bad case of Covid or a bad reaction to the vaccine and those personal experiences may hold more weight than what a spokesperson or your local health authority tells you.

I don't take sides on this particular debate, but as a rule of thumb I say this is a slope that could be very slippery and we should proceed with caution.
Upvote 0
Mar 21, 2012
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The real question: when was the last time anyone saw someone from OSHA? :2quiet:
Yeah OSHA has found that using press releases to publicly shame a few companies garners greater compliance than actually having people out in the field. They also use the threat of anonymous tips from employees to keep companies in check.
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Mar 17, 2014
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I can see both sides of this. I personally chose to get vaccinated a couple weeks ago. That was my choice and until 2 weeks ago, my choice was to not get vaccinated. I liked the fact that I had a choice. I was never anti or pro vaccine, I was indifferent and I really didn't give it much thought one way or the other.

I am somewhat of a "choose my battles" thinker. If I worked for an employer that mandated the vaccine (before I was vaccinated) I would likely have shrugged my shoulders and said ok, if it is that important to you then I will get vaccinated. It wasn't something that I was dead set against anyway so not a battle I would have felt the need to fight.

Of course there is the other type here that will fight over the principal of something with no regard for their own stance on the issue. Nobody is going to tell me what to do with my body. I see that too.

From an employer perspective, there is a reason that so many have already implemented this rule. Many large companies self insure their group health plans. Maxed out policies are not good for those numbers. They have recognized the data and are putting their faith in those numbers. Of course those numbers are the vaccinated vs unvaccinated hospitalization numbers that we are dealing with right now. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon :thinker: to figure out that there is a 10X higher chance of hospitalization among non vaccinated people. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that people don't like to be told what to do nor should they be.

This mandate does not apply to me. I don't have 100 employees. In addition, everyone in my dealership has either been vaccinated or they have had Covid. If this did apply to me, I would mandate the vaccine if I was self insuring my health group. If I was not self insuring, I would not mandate the vaccine.
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