MGM Resorts has become one of the latest hospitality and casino operators to have successfully incentivized its workforce into taking a COVID-19 jab. The company announced in August that its workforce would have two months to vaccinate or start taking mandatory COVID-19 tests if they want to show up for work.
The deadline set for October 15 has been met by what CEO Bill Hornbuckle reported was 98% of members of staff. While seen as “destroying personal freedoms” by some, the vaccination mandate in private establishments has been taken up and enforced the world over, with Macau’s casinos also demanding that their staff and visitors have a fully vaccinated status. Macau has had zero COVID-19 fatalities since the pandemic began, so they may be a good example to follow, too.
Results Beat Executives’ Expectations
Hornbuckle admitted that the result was a remarkable outcome that exceeded the executive’s expectations. MGM, which is the largest private employer in Nevada, is a good trendsetter in introducing mandatory vaccination for hospitality workers which not only didn’t backfire but also led to the successful vaccination of the team. Hornbuckle did not miss to praise the outcome:
“It’s hard to overstate the impact of having so many of our employees, partners, and their families stepping up to receive these safe, effective, life-saving vaccines.”MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle
While vaccination has often been a divisive topic, many hospitality workers have decided to take the jab over the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and its full consequences. MGM did not seek to blanket vaccine all employees, though, as the company said that the stricter measures would apply for those employees that have to work on the casino floor and throughout the hospitality facilities.
Protecting the Health and Ensuring the Safety of All
MGM stated at the time that the move was necessary to safeguard the safety of all visitors as well as members of the staff and their contacts outside of the workplace. However, MGM showed little leniency towards salaried employees who had turned down the jab or testing. Those were classified as not eligible for employment, with some 91 employees choosing to leave the company instead of vaccinating, Hornbuckle outlined in his letter.
Employees who still don’t want to get COVID-19 vaccines but want to work will be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing, for which they would have to cover the expenses themselves. Nevada is making quick strides towards vaccination, too, with some 53% of the population already fully vaccinated.
MGM Resorts is just one of many companies to push for stricter vaccination protocols and to mandate those measures for its workforce. Similar measures are being adopted across the United States. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort increased salaries for its vaccinated members of staff, and Philadelphia casinos asked unvaccinated guests to wear face masks.