Big Wake County companies requiring vaccination; are small businesses next?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Citrix is one of the latest large Triangle companies mandating workers get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We announced that beginning October 1, we will require all employees and contractors in the United States, India, United Kingdom and Canada to be fully vaccinated to enter our offices or engage in any Citrix business-related meetings, events, or travel," the company said in a statement.

Citrix said it conducted surveys in several locations across the world and nearly 2/3 of those who responded said that they would be more likely to work from an office if only those who were fully vaccinated were allowed to enter.

The company does allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons and provides up to four hours of time off for those getting vaccinated.

Citrix made its decision before President Joe Biden announced a mandate Thursday that federal government employees and contractors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The president also said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will create a rule for private businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

More businesses will likely be requiring COVID-19 vaccines under President Biden's mandate.

So can the administration take this action? NC State business law professor Dr. John Kuzenski weighed in.

"If you look back over the history of the United States presidency, even just in the 20th century, we actually see a fair number of examples of these kinds of exercises of power," Kuzenski said. "There will be challenges, certainly, and we'll see those being filed pretty soon. But I think the administration position as touted by the executive branch over the last couple of days, is that this is within the ambit of executive power."

Some wonder if small businesses are next.

"I think what we would do is certainly comply with that because I feel that that's our obligation," said Efrem Yates, who owns three Your Pie franchises in the Triangle.

The three locations have fewer than 100 employees combined.

"I can tell you that many of our employees are vaccinated," Yates said. "We have quite a few employees that are vaccinated. I have not gone as far as mandating them. I personally am vaccinated."
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