Chobani offering workers paid time off to get COVID-19 vaccine

Food company Chobani says it will offer its workers paid time off to get vaccinated for COVID-19, an early indication of a strategy some employers may take to encourage workers to get inoculated.

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“It’s simple, fair and the right thing to do,” Peter McGuinness, president and COO of Chobani, said in a LinkedIn statement. “Our plant employees have been on the frontlines of putting food on America’s kitchen tables 24/7 during this pandemic. They’re the heart of our company and we’ll do whatever we can to protect them.”

It’s one of the first announcements from a major employer on how they are encouraging employees to get vaccinated in the midst of the raging pandemic. Dollar General just announced it is offering workers an extra four hours of pay for getting the vaccine.

Related: HR’s next big job: Convincing employees to get COVID vaccines

While many employers mull how they will incentivize and urge their workers to get vaccinated, other employers are deciding whether they will mandate COVID-19 vaccination for their employees.

Related: Employers can legally require COVID vaccines–but will they?

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“Employers are putting their COVID-19 vaccine plans in place now and know that education is key, especially for those focused on getting and keeping their people at a physical worksite,” says Cheryl Larson, MBGH president and CEO.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.