Local businesses, employees react to President Biden’s vaccine mandate

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — President Biden’s newly unveiled vaccine mandate to combat COVID-19 on the minds of many Thursday just hours after the official announcement.

The bulk of the plan will apply to businesses with at least 100 employees being required to vaccinate or submit weekly testing results.

8 News Now spoke with local businesses and employees across the valley about how they plan to respond to the new rules.

“Bold move. We’ll see what happens,” says Cory Summerhays the CEO of Unforgettable Coatings a local business in town.

Summerhays employs a few hundred workers at his commercial painting company.

For weeks he’s been incentivizing them to get the COVID vaccine.

“They make more per hour throughout the rest of this year if they’ve been vaccinated,” he says.

He says around 90% of his employees are fully immunized. However, for everyone else, he’s struggling with the idea of President Biden’s vaccine mandate.

“For me to go in and make that call and take away that personal decision… otherwise they’re not going to have employment anymore, that’s a tough thing,” he adds.

That’s exactly what some Las Vegas workers say they are worried about.

One woman, who wants to remain anonymous tells 8 News Now she has a doctor’s note to avoid vaccinations because of medical reasons.

She says she hopes that’s enough. “I’m afraid that this is going to trigger something with the employer and I end up getting fired based on something that I cannot control,” she adds.

Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus tells 8 News Now that while there will be some challenges she believes a vaccine mandate will boost consumer confidence, especially for a city like Las Vegas.

“I think they know that if the customers feel safe because their personnel is safe, then that will help bring back the economy,” she says.

President Biden says companies could face fines of $14,000 dollars per violation.

Summerhays says he understands business like his must comply.

“That will be what it is and we’ll follow suit,” he says.

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