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Weekend Roundup: Returning to the Office, Hiring Vaccine Workers, Drug Testing in AZ

In today’s Weekend Roundup, some employers are implementing new strategies to deal with remote workers who are not comfortable returning back to the office. In other news, drug manufacturers are poised for a hiring frenzy to meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccines. Elsewhere, recreational drugs including marijuana are now legal in many states following the election. What does that mean for employers? Click the headlines below to learn more.

Some Remote Workers Not Comfortable Returning to Office

The majority of professional organizations are planning for a return to the workplace by the spring, although much uncertainty remains, according to research from The Conference Board.

The New York City-based think tank found that 40 percent of employers that shifted to remote work at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. in March 2020 are planning to have their workers return to the office by March of this year. However, those plans could change as new COVID-19 cases have continued to rise, said Robin Erickson, principal researcher at The Conference Board and one of the authors of “Adapting to the Reimagined Workplace: Human Capital Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a compilation of multiple surveys and research on organizations’ responses to the coronavirus and their plans on returning to the office. The report shares data on remote work trends, productivity and employee well-being, workforce cost reductions, and plans for returning to the workplace.

COVID-19 Vaccines in High Demand, but Thousands More Workers Are Needed to Make Them

Contract-manufacturing companies working to accelerate the global availability of Covid-19 vaccines are struggling with a shortage of their own: There aren’t enough workers to meet this year’s big production push. The talent pool is so tight that Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a Covid-19 contractor based in Gaithersburg, Md., for AstraZeneca PLC and Johnson & Johnson, enlisted its CEO and a half-dozen other senior executives to pitch potential hires at a virtual career fair in October. More than 550 people attended.

What New Arizona Marijuana Law Means for Employers

Recreational marijuana is now legal in Arizona after voters approved Proposition 207, and that will pose some new challenges for employers, said Julie Pace, a Phoenix attorney who specializes in employment and cannabis law. There also is confusion about what the implications are for both employers and employees, said Pace, an attorney with Gammage & Burnham, who spoke with Chamber Business News about what business owners need to know in moving forward.

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