Community reacts to locals businesses not requiring vaccines for employees

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Many local business owners, we spoke with today say they were not requiring their employees to be vaccinated that includes those working in the service industry. But some residents say it shouldn’t even be an option.

“I’m more nervous around people, if they’re not vaccinated and not wearing a mask,” said Blake Lechon.

Lechon is fully vaccinated. He says he was shocked to hear that many employers aren’t requiring their employees to get vaccinated.

“They’re basically going around able to spread whatever is there,” he said.

But there is no law that prevents employers from requiring their employees to get vaccinated.

“I think a requirement is great, it helps keep folks protected, especially when they’re in such close corners not just for employees, but for patrons,” said Alex Sigers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity says they’ve gotten a lot of questions from both employers and employees about mandating vaccines. Most local employers say it’s the worker’s choice, but some people don’t feel comfortable getting services from someone not vaccinated or at least wearing a mask.

“I would prefer for them to be vaccinated, but I’m also okay if they’re just wearing a mask, it’s when they’re not requiring masks that i start feeling weird,” said Nina Racheal.

And some workers were actually hoping their jobs would require vaccines.

“For our safety, you know you’re human, it’s not really so much for you, it’s for everybody else who’s going to be affected if you have covid,” said Dashia McClendon.

Many locals say getting vaccinated is not just for yourself, but for everyone.

It’s important to keep everybody safe and it’s not really a difficult thing to do,” said Lechon.

The Pentagon announced this week that all military personnel would be required to get vaccinated, that includes Fort Gordon, and could start as early as next month.

NewsChannel 6 also reached out to some larger companies like John Deere ADP and club car. They all declined to comment. Georgia Power says they are not requiring vaccines, but are strongly encouraging them. They’ve also started a 100 dollar incentive for employees to get their covid shots.

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