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 teleworkoption.

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 resthave 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 byother 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 influencethe 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 staveoff 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.

 

August 20, 2021

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