Episode 6: Mandating Vaccines, Good Idea?

Podcast Guests

photo of Leighann Lovely

Leighann Lovely

SITE Staffing, Inc.

photo of Cheryl Litvin

Cheryl Litvin

First Associated Insurance Agency

Leighann Lovely 0:08
Welcome to HRables: HR In Bite-Sized pieces, presented by SITE Staffing. I’m your host, Leighann Lovely and today we have some awesome things to discuss, definitely a topic that has been on many business owners’ minds and people. I am joined by Cheryl Litvin with First Associated Insurance Agency. As a native to Wisconsin Cheryl is an OSHA outreach trainer, insurance agent and fourth generation agency owner. She has conducted training for the U.S. Army and ensures large national manufacturers who produce products for brands like Google, Apple, Costco, GE and NASA. Cheryl’s mission is to provide clients with the best risk management expertise and transparency while finding the right coverage for each unique situation. Insurance is complex, and today’s buying market expects you to be an expert. One day while home with her boys a tornado hit their family home. When they tried to rebuild, they found their insurance was not adequate, and began the year long fight to get their home restored. After this experience, she has made it her mission to make sure no family or business would be trapped by coverage blind spots again. Over the last 22 years, she has lived in seven states with her husband and two boys. As a proud military family they now call Hartland home. So welcome Cheryl, I’m really excited to have you here. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.

Cheryl Litvin 1:43
Thank you for having me. I’m really looking forward to chatting and yeah, we I am a fourth generation insurance agent. We’ve, my grandfather started our agency and or my great grandfather started our agency on 50th and North, and my grandfather brought it to where it is today. On 124th and Burleigh. My parents are still actively involved. They’ve always kind of been the home/auto umbrella side of things and I married my high school sweetheart, he was in the army, so we traveled all over the world, and one of the things, our first duty station, I was a Hey, Hey, you, you look like you could do this, and that’s how I entered into the safety realm of what I’m doing. So I’m an OSHA trainer, I’m an insurance agent and just kind of taking that whole different look of pulling that safety, workers’ comp and insurance and blending that into my current clients.

Leighann Lovely 2:45
Excellent. So tell me a little bit about you know, all of the different services that you typ- and you kind of talked a little bit about you know about that, but you know, right now, obviously, the world’s changing…

Cheryl Litvin 2:56

Leighann Lovely 2:57
Right, it’s definitely crazy. So tell me a little bit about you know how that looks right now with, you know, what you do and the conversations that you’re having with these companies, when you’re going in and talking to them about the products that you offer.

Cheryl Litvin 3:12
Our agency does absolutely everything. My focus is mostly commercial insurance, just because of being the OSHA training or trainer having, you know, the safety background, really, I guess I think like a loss control person that I look at the end game, and then I bring it back to what it is to the current customer today. You know, back in March, people finally understood, A). What insurance was because now they, their business couldn’t operate the way they’ve currently knew and then B). They finally understood what PPE was, you know, for years and years and years, I’m training people on PPE and they’re like, PP… what? Now, you know, PPE has become household language, and everyone knows that it’s personal protective equipment. So I’m taking those aspects of what people didn’t know and now they have some awareness, and then helping them translate that into what it really means for their business.

Leighann Lovely 4:21
Yeah, and it’s so, so true, when you say, PPE being obviously in the staffing industry, that’s a common, you know, phrase that we hear around our office all the time, and for many years, I would ask, so what is your PPE and even, you know, companies that were kind of in the industry had personal protective equipment didn’t refer to it that way and now you’re right, it’s, it’s a mainstream term. Everybody knows what that is and, you know, things that companies didn’t think of, until you know, unfortunately COVID hit, they all of a sudden are coming to light. It’s definitely a new world and for your industry bringing a lot of those things to light. It’s it’s definitely interesting. So obviously, yeah, things have definitely been shaken up in the economy for you. So how has the conversations that you’re having with companies around the whole idea of the COVID vaccine, what that looks like, kind of, you know, started to present themselves, you know, and what are those conversations looking like for you?

Cheryl Litvin 5:28
You know, again, we have to go back to the beginning. So everyone was like, “oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I can’t work, I can’t do our, you know, our business can’t be open.” Then it started the conversation of “okay, now, are we essential and non-essential? How are we going to reopen what is reopening look like,” and now we’re having that same conversation around vaccines. Everyone is so excited to get back to normal, that they’re just going with the flow instead of thinking everything through. So are you going to mandate a vaccine? Are you going to say “you have to do this to be employed here?” Well, you can, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. What does that mean, if I won’t get vaccinated, but you’re making everybody else do it? Does that mean that I can’t work here anymore? Is that is that an employer liability issue? Yes. What if the other person has some kind of medical history, that they can’t have it? Are they requiring you? Are you going to require them to tell you what their medical history is? Why or why they cannot have the vaccine. So those are the things that are playing out in the insurance part of of the business liability.

Leighann Lovely 6:51
Right, and all of a sudden, now we’re breaching, you know, confidential…

Cheryl Litvin 6:56

Leighann Lovely 6:56

Cheryl Litvin 6:57

Leighann Lovely 6:57

Cheryl Litvin 6:58
And now you have this information? What are you going to do with it? How are you going to store it? You are required to, you know, if I don’t work here, tomorrow, you’re still required to hold those medical information for the lifetime. Not just, you know, the employment, my time of employment, it’s from now until the end of time, you’re required to have it. So…

Leighann Lovely 7:24
Right., and are you seeing a lot of companies who are are thinking about implementing a mandatory vaccination policy?

Cheryl Litvin 7:32
For sure, and but they’re just so excited to get back to normal.

Leighann Lovely 7:38

Cheryl Litvin 7:39
And going with the flow, that they’re not having the conversations of stop, let’s think of how, you know, if I’m mandating the vaccine and I get the vaccine and then I have some kind of complication, that’s a worker’s comp. So they’re just not thinking about how it impacts tons of areas in the business liability, you know, the leadership, if they’re saying, yeah, I have everyone’s going to have vaccines. We’re mandating it, we’re going for it, something happens, and then there’s a lawsuit brought up. If you don’t have the right protection in place, the business is up for a huge financial loss from the decisions of the leadership. So you don’t have to have a board of directors you don’t have to have, it’s just management decisions that are at stake right now.

Leighann Lovely 8:33
Right, right. Absolutely and what is the insurance? I guess, how is the insurance side looking at this at this point? I mean, are insurance companies going “oh, yeah, we’ll just simply cover that lawsuit”. I mean, is that something that they’re just jumping on-board saying? Yep, that’s gonna be covered, if…

Cheryl Litvin 8:53
We’re seeing two things. So yes, it absolutely would be covered, if they had the coverage. So what we’re finding is that people don’t have the coverage, because typically insurance is bought on transaction as opposed to an actual back and forth dialogue of what you’re doing and how that translates and then, you know, assigning transferring the risk through insurance. So yeah, we’re absolutely they would be paid for if you had the coverage.

Leighann Lovely 9:22
Right, and…

Cheryl Litvin 9:23
A lot of people don’t.

Leighann Lovely 9:24
A lot of people don’t. Okay, so I was getting that. Getting the idea that a lot of people companies would, don’t and maybe a lot of companies assume that they do because, I’m guessing they think that that maybe would fall just under a simple work comp or fall under something that they already have.

Cheryl Litvin 9:43
Probably the most basic if I had the vaccine, you mandated me to have the vaccine, I got the vaccine and I had a reaction. Yes, that is a worker’s comp, and that’s probably the easiest, look, into the insurance, and then that it would be covered.

Leighann Lovely 10:02
Okay, but again, I mean, that doesn’t even dive into what happens if somebody refuses..

Cheryl Litvin 10:08

Leighann Lovely 10:09
…to get it. And what happens if…

Cheryl Litvin 10:11
What if you allow me not to get it, but you make my coworker do get, you know, so you have a lot of inequality.

Leighann Lovely 10:19

Cheryl Litvin 10:20
For the business.

Leighann Lovely 10:22
Right. Yeah, that, yeah, there’s so many working pieces and that we haven’t even, you know, began to think of and again, it goes back to, you know, a whole, you know, list of other things that have been implemented in the past that, you know, again, we’re still working through. You know, when they implemented, you know, things like the conceal and carry laws, there are still, you know, implications or companies that are working through things like that. So, very interesting.

Cheryl Litvin 10:55
I think one of the things that we’ll see out of this is in, September 11th, because of September 11th, and because of all the claims that have happened, because of that there’s something called “terrorism coverage”. So every year, round the clock, you have to say yes or no on whether or not you’re going to have terrorism coverage and it’s cheap, maybe 50 bucks, 100 bucks, not a lot of money. Most people say “no,” they don’t want it, but they are taking on the risk that if something happened to their business, they would, they’re taking, if there was a terrorist attack on their business, they would or would not, it would not be covered. Something’s going to happen like that. We’re gonna have like a “pandemic insurance.” So we’re, every year we’ll probably say, “yep, I want a pandemic coverage.” “Nope, we don’t.”

Leighann Lovely 11:48
Very interesting. Right, and that’s…

Cheryl Litvin 11:50
That’s definitely on the horizon.

Leighann Lovely 11:51
Yeah, absolutely. And we would hope that another pandemic is not on the horizon for another 100 years…

Cheryl Litvin 11:57

Leighann Lovely 11:58
…or ever, right? Hopefully, not in my lifetime. Hopefully, not in my child’s lifetime, but history has, you know, as we all know, has a tendency to repeat itself. So, but yeah, I mean, we only, we can only learn from this situation and see what comes up and at that point, you know, move forward and move on. So, so on top of, you know, obviously, this conversation that you’re having, I’m assuming that there’s a great deal of training that that is coming out of this, that you’re going into companies and saying, “okay, so here’s what I can offer on the training side of, you know, if this situation happens again,” or, you know, and obviously, you mentioned that you do training on, you do training on OSHA, you do training on a whole variety of things, but are you seeing that, “yep, now I need to go in and do specific training to X, Y, Z, because of this particular situation?

Cheryl Litvin 12:51
The training requirement never has changed. People are now aware of it. So that’s the big difference there. Yes. I mean, the training and documentation is going to be huge, with lawsuits, with you know, your company safety, all of it. Yeah it’s, for sure, there’s an emphasis on it and it’s going to, gosh, gather my thoughts here. The training aspect is going to be huge, not only for employee morale, every dollar that you spend on safety typically doubles back into employee morale. On the flip side of that, you know, knowing your, your employees are excited to, that you’re investing in them and then that also you know, if OSHA were to walk in and you can say, “hey, look, we did training this, this, this, this day, this person had it, this person had it,” and those are the things that are going to protect the business, so twofold. Firstly, your employees are happy that you’re like, worried about them and secondly, it’s making your liability less because you’re doing all the right things.

Leighann Lovely 14:15
Right. Excellent. Well, if someone wanted to get in touch with you, whether that be for training, obviously, to have the conversation about you know, what’s happenin. What’s happened over the last year with the with COVID and everything else, whether they wanted to have a conversation with you about whether or not to mandate vaccines or not to mandate or to talk to you about the insurance side. How would they go about getting in touch with your agency?

Cheryl Litvin 14:44
You might, you can always email me, it’s my first name last name cheryllitvin@firstassociated.com. You can always text or call me at area code (262) 288-2488. Always approachable. Always willing to look at what your policies are and I will openly tell you, where you need to change, what things are good, what things are bad and just kind of walk you through real world examples of, that you will understand. So then you can go back and say, “hey, look, what about this?”

Leighann Lovely 15:20
Excellent. Well, this has been an amazing conversation, I wish that we could continue this conversation, because, I mean, again, I could talk about all of this stuff being obviously, in the thick of it, you know, just, you know, with all the companies that we work with. Which is, again, why I, you know, wanted to have this conversation with you today, because we, you know, we had SITE Staffing deal with that on a regular basis, with, you know, PPE and companies calling us and talking to us about that, but I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today and yeah, thank you so much.

Cheryl Litvin 15:54
Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Leighann Lovely 15:57
Thank you for tuning in. If you have a comment or you’d like to just join the conversation, please reach out to us on LinkedIn. If you are a company and you would like assistance with your open positions, I’d love to hear from you, or if you are looking for a new position you can apply at our website at www.sitestaffinginc.com, and finally, if you enjoyed our podcast today, share us, like us or leave a comment. Please tune in next time. I’m Leighann Lovely with SITE Staffing, and this is HRables: HR In Bite-Sized Pieces. We are now available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, iHeart Radio, Player FM or wherever you get your podcasts.