These companies could require their franchise operators to have their employees comply with the same rules that apply to larger companies,but that’s unlikely, said Brian Kropp, chief of research at consulting firm Gartner’s HR practice.
With a record number of job openings
and not enough job seekers
to fill them, “the war for talent is intense
right now,” Kropp said. “If McDonald’s does [require vaccinations] and Wendy’s doesn’t, those employees who don’t want to get vaccinated are going to walk out the door to go over to Wendy’s.”
Many other large companies hire independent contractors, rather than employees, to interact with the public, including Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT) and other major delivery services such as DoorDash and Instacart.
In addition to their need to hang on to workers, those companies have a bigger issue at play — imposing a vaccine mandate on drivers could complicatefuture legal battles
over whether they should be considered employees rather than independent contractors, Kropp said.
“If the mandate were to apply to them, it makes it more likely in future legal cases for drivers to say, ‘We’re treated the same way as employees,'” said Kropp.
Most of the companies engaging with franchisees or independent contractors didn’t respond to questions about their plans when contacted for this story.
DoorDash, however, said that itwon’task its delivery drivers to comply with the vaccination rules because of their status as independent contractors.
“We are encouraging all members of the broader DoorDash community to get vaccinated,” the company said, adding that it does require its delivery drivers to wear masks when interacting with the public.
Can vaccines be good for business?
Many larger business are happy to see the new vaccine and testing mandates because they believe a widely vaccinated workforce could lead to a more level playing field.
“They’ve done the math and figured out that vaccines mean lower absenteeism, lower health care costs,” Kropp said.
Delta Air Lines (DAL
) said last month that each employee hospitalized with Covid costs the company about $50,000
For major employers that compete for talent with other large companies, the new rules are a big advantage, Kropp said.