The Case For A Vaccine Mandate In The Workplace

Credit Union Of Texas is requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to work, a decision it says reinforces its core values and serves the best interest of its communities.

 
 

Top-Level Takeaways

  • Credit Union of Texas is making the COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment as of Sept. 20, 2021.
  • Currently, 70% of its 500-person workforce is vaccinated.

On Aug. 9, 2021, Credit Union of Texas ($1.7B, Allen, TX) announced it would require all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of their employment. It was one of the first credit unions to publicly do so, but it likely won’t be the last.

In recent weeks, Walmart, McDonald’s, Microsoft, the Walt Disney Company and other companies have announced vaccination mandates; however, individual strategies vary. McDonald’s is mandating vaccines for corporate workers but not restaurant staff; Salesforce, Microsoft, and Cisco are mandating vaccines for employees who work from the corporate office but will still offer a telework option.

Credit Union of Texas is mandating the vaccine for all employees, although employees with medical or religious exceptions can request an exemption. Seventy percent of the credit union’s nearly 500 employees are already fully vaccinated; the rest have until Sept. 20, 2021, to receive a full vaccination.

In this Q&A, CEO Eric Pointer discusses the mandate, why the credit union chose this course of action, the reaction he anticipates, and more.

CU QUICK FACTS

Credit Union of Texas
Data as of 06.30.21

HQ: Allen, TX
ASSETS: $1.7B
MEMBERS: 143,811
BRANCHES: 16
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 14.1%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 12.4%
ROA: 1.93%

When did you decide mandating vaccination against COVID-19 was the right course of action for Credit Union of Texas?

Eric Pointer: It was not an overnight decision. We have kept a close eye on the science, news, and recent developments, including information about the pandemic, the Delta variant’s impact in our communities, and actions taken by other companies.

Why?

EP: We feel it is the responsibility of corporations to take a stand to fight for the communities we serve. We are now taking action to protect our employees, which are the most important asset at Credit Union of Texas.

What sources did you consider before making this decision?

EP: Since the start of the pandemic, CUTX has closely monitored the guidelines of various sources, including governmental resources such as the CDC and OSHA, and we will continue to do so. We have also seen many hospitals, the U.S. military, Fortune 500 companies, and other industries take a stand to protect their employees.

How do you expect employees or members to react to this decision?

EP: Thus far, the response has been positive from our employees. Employees are doing their own research and have become more educated and aware of the protection the vaccine offers. By getting vaccinated, our employees can also influence the vaccination decisions of their friends and family.

Do you anticipate negative feedback? How do you plan to handle it?

EP: The decision to protect each employee was not taken lightly. Although we do not want any of our employees to leave, we must take a stand to protect everyone. We will treat all employees equally and ensure the fair application of our policy. We will offer those who wish to terminate their employment a separation agreement with three weeks’ severance.

What does this decision say about CUTX as an organization?

EP: Our employee creed is that we care, understand, teach, and exceed. This decision reinforces each one of those values. We care for our employees, we understand what is needed to protect our community, we are doing what we can to stave off the spread of the pandemic, and we are exceeding on our promises by providing bonuses, time off, and potentially expenses incurred for receiving the vaccine.

“Our goal is to lead by example as well as to share best practices and what we’ve learned with other leaders so we can protect our communities.”

Eric Pointer, CEO, Credit Union of Texas

How do you hope other credit unions will react to your decision?

EP: Our goal is to lead by example as well as to share best practices and what we’ve learned with other leaders so we can protect our communities.

What lessons have you learned that you’d share with other credit unions?

EP: So far, we’ve learned our employees have used this policy as a reason to educate themselves and then made the choice to get vaccinated.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Aug. 23, 2021


Comments

 
 
 
  • The unvaccinated serve as Covid fertilizer, and are the portion of our society most responsible for helping the pandemic go and grow. We have employees concerned about having to consistently be around unvaccinated peers. No one has the right to be a "Typhoid Mary" (apologies to people named Mary) and expose others to a disease which is filling hospitals to over-flowing. The mRNA process was developed over many years, but does not alter RNA permanently, it lets your natural immune system be exposed to what the coronavirus looks like so your own body develops antibodies. The mRNA actually flushes fairly quickly. No vaccine has 100% efficacy, but the Covid vaccines have an astonishing track record at preventing disease and at attenuating the small number of breakthrough cases. People may claim they have a "right" not to be vaccinated or to wear a mask, but they typically want to dodge accepting any responsibility for their decisions. Rights don't exist without responsibility. A CU has an obligation to keep its employees and members as safe as practical from spreading a harmful and often deadly disease. It is a big enough challenge to navigate the external impacts of Covid, so more companies including CU of Texas are concluding that we don't need the internal threats of Covid. I'd suggest that those anti-vaxxers read a book such as "The Body is the Hero" available as a Kindle book from Amazon. It explains how the body's immune system works in layman's language, and when you gain a better understanding of how the body creates and uses antibodies (as well as T-cells, macrophages, and other specialized cells) to fend off disease, it becomes understandable how and why antibodies are the key. Just wait until you have a couple of employees rack up a few million $ in medical bills from Covid ICU treatment, and see how your vaccinated employees feel about paying higher medical insurance bills next year to subsidize the unvaccinated who become ill from Covid.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • This doesn't appear to be as much of a "Case" for mandates as much as it is an interview with a CEO who decided to do it.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • This is absolutely ridiculous and a media stunt. I hope their membership appreciates it. How many variants will they require boosters for? When do you stop?
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • I your employees did any research to educate themselves they would know that vaccination is NOT protection against the Virus. It merely lessens the symptoms as the Virus continues to infect. Not only that but, what a bout an individuals rights to protect themselves against discrimination and persecution simply because, they choose not to vaccinate themselves with a compound that alters their RNA permanently with unknown long term effects.
    JEtherington
     
     
     
  • Well said. Also, is the Credit Union of Texas going to accept responsibility if one of the employees they mandate has an adverse reaction like thousands of Americans have as reported on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System website? Don't understand why a credit union would think it's their place to give medical advice.
    Art
  • JEtherington, Sorry, this is not about facts... :(
    Anonymous