Chrome Federal Credit Union and 84 Lumber are among the growing list of businesses and companies across the country offering incentives for employees to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Chrome is offering its employees $250 to get the vaccine, as well as paying them for the time it takes them to go and get the shot.
84 Lumber is paying employees $84 to get vaccinated.
Businesses are hoping the extra incentives will help get the COVID-19 virus under control.
“The health and safety of our employees and our members is No. 1 for us,” said Bob Flanyak, president and CEO of Chrome, which operates two branches in Washington County. “We absolutely believe in the science, and we believe the protection of our community is rooted in the fact that we’ve got to get more people vaccinated.”
84 Lumber estimates it will pay about $546,000 to vaccinate its approximately 6,500 employees.
“We say that we’re a people company, and you have to put your money where your mouth is,” said COO Frank Cicero. “It’s a people thing at 84 Lumber. We care about people. We care about our associates and our customers and want to keep them safe.”
Other large companies in the U.S. who are paying their employees to get vaccinated, or providing other incentives, are McDonald’s, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Amtrak.
In a joint statement issued Monday by more than 50 professional medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the groups called for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers and long term care workers, and said they hope other employees across the country follow their lead.
Flanyak said Chrome, with its 43 employees, is a small business, but he, too, is hoping to encourage other small businesses to follow suit.
“It’s about letting small companies know there are other small companies out there taking action,” said Flanyak. “We can reward people who do get vaccinated, and encourage them to get protected.”
According to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, companies can offer incentives to workers to get the vaccine.
In a press release, McDonald’s said, “Vaccination is essential in the fight against the pandemic, and we are actively encouraging McDonald’s employees to take this important step.”
One of the first large chains to take the step to encourage inoculations, McDonald’s is providing four hours of paid time to employees who receive the vaccine.
As of Monday, 62.5% of Pennsylvanians over 18 were fully vaccinated. In Fayette County, about 48.1% of people are fully vaccinated. In Greene County, the percentage is roughly 36%, while in Washington County, that number is 48.46%.
Said Flanyak, “We’re trying to keep people safe. This (incentive) allows us to continue to serve our members and keep our community safe.”