Frontline service workers left out of the vaccine mandate trend


OAKLAND, Calif. — Employers in California — like much of the country — are rushing to mandate Covid-19 vaccines as the Delta variant spreads, but they’re leaving out a key group: the essential service workers who have borne the brunt of risky conditions since the start of the pandemic.

Requiring vaccines is more complicated in sectors like retail and agriculture, where employers risk losing workers in a tight labor market and vaccine enforcement could be expensive. Some labor leaders who represent low-wage service workers also have pushed back against strict mandates.

But the diverging policies could widen the pandemic’s already uneven toll by leaving frontline workers,

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