COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

COVID-19 vaccine efforts throughout the nation are steadily expanding. To help landscape industry companies navigate the next phase of the COVID-19 epidemic as the vaccine roll-out progresses, we’ve provided HR guidance and information about  the steps you can take to protect your business, your customers, and your employees.

Guidance for Employers

Can Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines?

Generally, employers may require that all employees take this vaccine due to the risk of contagion to other employees, customers, and other third parties. If an employee cannot take a vaccine due to bona fide medical or religious reasons, the employer has the right to require substantiation of those reasons and should then consider if other accommodations may be available.

Additional Resources:

How to Talk About the Vaccine

Companies are encouraged to talk with employees and share the facts about COVID-19 vaccines to help dispel some of the myths and misinformation.

NALP recommends using the CDC as a resource for information concerning the vaccine, especially as new vaccines receive FDA approval.

Click here for CDC resources in Spanish.

Where and When Can Employees Obtain the Vaccine?

The supply of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is currently limited and because of this CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.

Vaccines are being distributed through hospitals, physician offices, urgent care facilities and in some instances large venues such as sport arenas, government facilities and convention centers.  It is anticipated that soon pharmacies and retailers will also be distributing the vaccine; CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Costco, etc..  You will need to check with your specific state to confirm locations.

Click the button below to contact your state health department for more information on it's plan for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Landscape and Lawn Care Employees are Essential Workers

ACIP used DHS CISA guidance to set a priority hierarchy for “essential workers” to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.   NALP has been deemed essential on the DHS CISA guidance.  This tiered approach for essential workers also builds on the occupations identified by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for early vaccination. The landscape industry is included in tier 1c under construction, public safety and the catch-all provision for essential industries:

“Essential worker sectors recommended for vaccination in Phase 1c include those in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers . . . and essential workers not previously included in Phase 1a or 1b”

There may be specific circumstances where employees of the landscape industry are eligible for 1a or 1b for personal health conditions or age.  We assert that there are also case-by-case circumstances where members of the landscape industry may be eligible for 1b depending on the nature and location of the public safety work they are conducting at that time to necessitate safe access to receive the vaccine by other essential industries and other eligible members of the general public.

It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that this is federal guidance ONLY.  Each state, tribe, and territory develops its own plan for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first and then the hierarchy of the following groups.  Members of the landscape industry may be eligible for different tiers depending on state guidance. 

Legal and Human Resources Advisor

Richard Lehr, Esq.

Richard has been working with the association for decades. He is an expert in labor negotiations, traveling around the world to work with clients on labor negotiations. You can email Richard and ask a question about HR issues, contracts, compliance issues, employee handbooks, employee relations, drug testing, etc. NALP members, click here  to contact Richard.