SUN CITY WEST, AZ (3TV/CBS 5 ) - A raise for a vaccine? That's what a Sun City West business is doing – a boost in pay for employees who get fully vaccinated. But not all employees agree with the policy, and some raised concerns about bribery.
Many have heard of companies giving employees a little bonus to go get the vaccine, maybe $50 or $100. But this is about giving workers a dollar more per hour toward their salary, and several of their workers don't want to get the vaccine.
Kyle Thompson works at Southwest Golf Cars in Sun City West and Monday. His coworker told him about something on his timecard. "There's a letter attached to your timecard and you're not going to like it," Thompson said. He opened it and was surprised at what it said. "The letter states we're going to incentivize at a dollar an hour raise if you go get the COVID vaccine," he said.
Thompson said he and several other coworkers are not comfortable getting the vaccine right now and feels this was targeted at them. "This is being held against people that don't want to get vaccinated," he said. "I felt not necessarily betrayed, but kind of like, 'Hey, we know you guys feel this way about it but we're going to get you to do it,'" Thompson said. He believes this sets a dangerous precedent that vaccinated employees can be better compensated than those who aren't.
But the general manager of Southwest Golf Cars Nancy McIntosh said this has everything to do with keeping people safe. "We wanted to be able to have everybody in a safer environment," McIntosh said. "That's got nothing to do with their work performance. Nothing at all."
She said about a third of her 17 or so employees are already vaccinated or have now scheduled appointments, and this will not affect any other kinds of raises. "Everyone will still be in line for whatever plans of advancement we have for them outside of the vaccine, McIntosh said.
Thompson said he hopes this doesn't set a standard for other companies moving forward. "I just don't want this to be a trend. I do not want to see this become a trend because I think this will incentivize people not to go to work because they're going to feel lesser of an employee to those who did get vaccinated," he said.
McIntosh did say she wants all employees to ask their doctors first before they get the vaccine in case there are any medical questions or concerns.