mployment news in southern California

The Alabama’s legislature passed bills regarding vaccine mandate on Thursday and it will be into effect soon. The bill has made it easier to for people to opt out of federal vaccine mandate and it also prohibits minors from getting vaccinated without consent of their parents. The bill will now be return to Alabama’ senate which can accept it or send the bill to a conference committee.

Federal Vaccine Mandate

Federal vaccine mandate is having an impact on employers and workers as well. In New York City alone more than 19,000 employees are on unpaid leaves for not fulfilling the vaccine mandate. This will prevent employers from firing workers who claim religious or medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination mandate. This bill will conflict with federal  vaccination mandates issued by Biden’s administration. According to the mandates all federal workers and federal contractors needs to be vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021.

How to Apply for Exemption

State Rep. Mike Jones said that this legislature is designed to protect jobs on assumption that workers are entitled to exemption may face potential job termination. Therefore, workers facing possible job termination on basis of vaccine refusal are required to fill out a simple form. Employee will check mark the reason in the form due to which they could not get vaccinated. It may be religious reasons, certain acute medical condition or a health providers’ signed recommendation that the person should not be vaccinated. However, the proof  will not be required and any employee who is denied this exception can appeal to state Department of Labor.

Basically, this is a bill which will create exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons. People have sincerely held religious beliefs. Jones told this to the committee. Protections provided by this section are to be liberally construed in favor of the employee. They will be into effect immediately upon passage and signed by the governor.

This legislation of vaccination exemption conflicts with federal vaccine mandates and non-compliance with federal mandates may result in loss of current or future contracts and jobs in Alabama state.

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Mercedes-Benz U.S. International hiring hundreds of new employees for its plants in Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties. Mercedes are anticipating production of electric cars in 2022.

Job Announcement

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International announced that new full-time workers will be hired by the end of this year. The positions to be filled are in the department of assembly, body shop and paint shop. Some of the employees will be hired at their battery plant in Bibb County. The assembly of high voltage EV battery systems will be performed at Bibb Country. The company is looking for workers having production experience in automobile industry. Opportunity can also be provided to less experienced workers having manufacturing trainings.

“MBUSI’s commitment to being the best luxury auto manufacturer in North America is most evident in our workforce,” said Michael Göbel, president and CEO of MBUSI. “As our production continues to accelerate and evolve, we are growing the team we’ve built with additional support on a local level.”

Wages and Other Benefits

The company plans to offer $20 per hour wage rate which will rise to $25 per hour during next 4 years. The company will also provide shift premium along with MBUSI benefits programs. These benefits include:

  • Health and life insurance
  • Defined contribution retirement plan with a 401(k) match
  • An annual bonus
  • Paid holidays, vacation and emergency vacation days, along with a paid winter shutdown
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • An on-site childcare, medical center and fitness center

Eligibility Criteria

Mercedes Benz will start the production of two electric cars in 2022. The company has also planned to open a battery pack assembly facility in Bibb County. Immediate job openings are available in assembly, body shop and paint shop. Some positions are also available at the battery plant where high-voltage EV battery systems will be assembled. Applicant must have high school diploma or GED-equivalent along with 1-3 years manufacturing or industrial experience. The applicant must be able to perform essential functions of the job.

“If you want to get out of a job and into a career, this is the place to be,” said Steven King, a member of the MBUSI assembly production team who has worked at the company for 20 years.


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