Laura Rea Dickey On Her Concerns Of Barriers Created By The New COVID-19 Mandate



In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, not only does the Biden administration urge that individuals be vaccinated, but is implementing a federal mandate that requires companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that all employees be CDC fully vaccinated or provide weekly COVID-19 testing to all unvaccinated employees. The mandate, which will take effect in January 2022, could cost businesses who do not meet the federal regulation deadline, thousands of dollars in fines.


As it is, businesses are struggling to staff their locations, let alone with competitive talent. With the mandate coming into effect, the increased worry is that it will be more difficult to attract and retain proper talent at the store level. CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue, Laura Rea Dickey voiced her concerns regarding the mandate and how it will affect the business.

Laura Rea Dickey believes that this mandate will create a barrier between herself and a worker who truly wants to work and earn a paycheck. Stores have already been struggling to find proper talent to fill the schedules and this is just another obstacle that owner/operators will face. The Dickey’s Barbecue CEO worries that this is just not what the owner/operators of her Dickey’s locations need.


Laura Rea Dickey: “What we really need the government to do, is to say: It is time to get back to work. It is time to get back in school. Go back to contributing”. Laura Rea Dickey worries of the logistical barriers that will arise when trying to implement this type of regulation. The CEO also mentions the possible infringement on religious beliefs and health-related privacy that the mandate will create.


The Dickey’s Barbecue CEO also spoke about the possibility of false statements of vaccination being provided by workers who are just trying to work. A possible worry is that workers will feel pressure to falsify vaccination claims so they can continue to work regardless of if they are experiencing COVID 19 delta variant symptoms. She says “It’s putting folks in that position to either possibly not be candid, which is a terrible situation, or walk away from their jobs if they truly feel like it’s not in their best interests”. It is unclear how businesses will handle the logistics of adapting to a mandate of this nature, but we will see January brings.


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