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Insider: April 9, 2021 — Housekeeping, Tape Syncs and Vaccinations

Housekeeping Notes. Hey folks, Nick here, butting in for a bit to hit some housekeeping notes and news bites.

First of all, meta stuff:

  • Thanks to everyone who joined me for the Hot Pod Live stream yesterday. Doing three hours of live contiguous content is no joke! Shout-out to Twitch streamers, but also, baseball announcers, because apparently baseball games average five hours? In any case, On Air Fest is still happening over the next two days, and you should definitely check out the programming, which is totally free, by the way.
  • I’m working on a few overhaul things for Hot Pod in general and Hot Pod Insider in specific… which will include a new feature/offering that I’m hoping to start experimenting with sooner than later. You’ll know about it soon enough.

Now, a few things I’m reading…

  • From the Wall Street Journal: “Amazon’s share of the U.S. digital ad market grew to 10.3% last year from 7.8% in 2019, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer.” Amazon the Digital Ad Giant is a storyline that should be tracked pretty closely.
  • Digital Music News is keeping a count of how many episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience are missing from Spotify. Their count is up to 42.
  • A short New York Times sketchpiece on relationship podcasts that offer insights into marriages. Nice focus on independently-made ones.
  • From Stat News: “Troubling podcast puts JAMA, the ‘voice of medicine,’ under fire for its mishandling of race.”
  • Finally, from CNBC: “What’s behind the boom in iconic boomer musicians selling their songs.” In a word: policy outcomes.

Okay, onto Aria…

Aria Bracci
INOCULATION AND AUDIO

A debate (of sorts) cropped up in an audio listserv this week that feels important to thumb down.

With more and more people getting vaccinated — but many other people continuing to go unvaccinated — some employers are considering (or already implementing) vaccination requirements. While we’ve seen that lots of audio work can be done remotely, there still remain in-person tasks that some producers are itching to resume, like recording in person if someone isn’t able to do it themselves (or would otherwise capture subpar audio quality). With it now being a possibility for tape syncers, the folks who conduct these close-proximity recordings, to have an added layer of protection on top of what’s provided by masking and distancing, some employers have started to float such opportunities only to vaccinated candidates.

This caused some… discussion. Some folks felt this was an invasion of privacy, others expressed doubt that this was legal, and still others, particularly those skeptical about the efficacy of vaccines, boldly likened it to discrimination. (One thing I haven’t yet heard is that freelancers, who are often the ones conducting tape syncs, feel they’re being unfairly made to front another qualification in what’s already an expensive and competitive landscape. But there’s still time.)

Let’s address the legality first, because there’s a pretty short answer: Employer mandates are indeed legal if a particular job necessitates vaccination, say attorneys, with employers able to argue that this is the case for many, many roles (i.e. basically any that involve human interaction). This answer is subject to change based on location, though, because states are actively pursuing legislation to forbid this kind of vaccination-based selectiveness, regardless of why someone is or isn’t vaccinated.

But why someone is or isn’t vaccinated is actually the more interesting point, because that detail is what makes selectiveness more complicated.

If a tape sync job comes down to two people who both want the vaccine, but only one has been able to get it, we’re looking at a problem not of individual liberties but of equity and access, potentially falling along existing lines of vaccination disparity. Yes, vaccines are being administered more quickly in New Mexico than in Mississippi, but with a site-specific job like a tape sync, people in those two states aren’t one another’s competition anyway. Where competition exists is between neighbors with different circumstances, leading one to be vaccinated but not the other. Take, for example, people who haven’t gotten a vaccine because of scheduling logistics, like working multiple jobs or not having reliable transportation to a vaccination site.

The guidance is vast and thorough for how to proceed when employees have religious or disability-related reasons for not getting the vaccine, including how to both accommodate these employees and not disclose to other employees that a colleague needs accommodation.

But what of people having difficulty getting vaccinated for systemic reasons? Black people are not being vaccinated at the same rate as white people, for example, even though the groups’ rates of vaccine hesitancy are nearly equal. This reality, experts say, is what results from what some may think are incidental lifestyle differences (e.g., lack of transportation) but are actually broadly documented inequities.

In an article for The Washington Post, Jeffrey Kahn, who oversees the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, expressed that it was “wrong” to limit employment opportunities for reasons that fall outside of many people’s control. And this will be true, he says, “until we’re in a situation where everybody who wants to be vaccinated is able to.”

Considering these circumstances, it’s important to think about potential consequences of setting vaccination mandates, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting a greater amount of safety from the people you hire (especially for a job that requires going into strangers’ offices or homes, in the case of tape syncs) but because larger systems have established and exacerbated privilege, and these kinds of mandates could perpetuate them.

For those crying privacy violations (or “discrimination,” as misguided as that is) in response to vaccine requirements, the concerns feel largely misplaced. Plus, as a reminder, mandates in general are nothing new. States decide their own vaccination rules, some opting, on their own, to set the strictest of guidelines (extending them not only to students in public systems, for example, but those at private and religious schools). Vaccine-related travel restrictions are also neither new nor a direct effect of COVID-19: Dating back to the 1960s, many countries have limited entry to people vaccinated against yellow fever.

These conversations have happened before. At the same time, they’re always evolving, both over time, in response to new diseases, and day to day, in response to this one. Keep an eye out.

Aria Bracci
INOCULATION AND AUDIO

A debate (of sorts) cropped up in an audio listserv this week that feels important to thumb down.

With more and more people getting vaccinated — but many other people continuing to go unvaccinated — some employers are considering (or already implementing) vaccination requirements. While we’ve seen that lots of audio work can be done remotely, there still remain in-person tasks that some producers are itching to resume, like recording in person if someone isn’t able to do it themselves (or would otherwise capture subpar audio quality). With it now being a possibility for tape syncers, the folks who conduct these close-proximity recordings, to have an added layer of protection on top of what’s provided by masking and distancing, some employers have started to float such opportunities only to vaccinated candidates.

This caused some… discussion. Some folks felt this was an invasion of privacy, others expressed doubt that this was legal, and still others, particularly those skeptical about the efficacy of vaccines, boldly likened it to discrimination. (One thing I haven’t yet heard is that freelancers, who are often the ones conducting tape syncs, feel they’re being unfairly made to front another qualification in what’s already an expensive and competitive landscape. But there’s still time.)

Let’s address the legality first, because there’s a pretty short answer: Employer mandates are indeed legal if a particular job necessitates vaccination, say attorneys, with employers able to argue that this is the case for many, many roles (i.e. basically any that involve human interaction). This answer is subject to change based on location, though, because states are actively pursuing legislation to forbid this kind of vaccination-based selectiveness, regardless of why someone is or isn’t vaccinated.

But why someone is or isn’t vaccinated is actually the more interesting point, because that detail is what makes selectiveness more complicated.

If a tape sync job comes down to two people who both want the vaccine, but only one has been able to get it, we’re looking at a problem not of individual liberties but of equity and access, potentially falling along existing lines of vaccination disparity. Yes, vaccines are being administered more quickly in New Mexico than in Mississippi, but with a site-specific job like a tape sync, people in those two states aren’t one another’s competition anyway. Where competition exists is between neighbors with different circumstances, leading one to be vaccinated but not the other. Take, for example, people who haven’t gotten a vaccine because of scheduling logistics, like working multiple jobs or not having reliable transportation to a vaccination site.

The guidance is vast and thorough for how to proceed when employees have religious or disability-related reasons for not getting the vaccine, including how to both accommodate these employees and not disclose to other employees that a colleague needs accommodation.

But what of people having difficulty getting vaccinated for systemic reasons? Black people are not being vaccinated at the same rate as white people, for example, even though the groups’ rates of vaccine hesitancy are nearly equal. This reality, experts say, is what results from what some may think are incidental lifestyle differences (e.g., lack of transportation) but are actually broadly documented inequities.

In an article for The Washington Post, Jeffrey Kahn, who oversees the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, expressed that it was “wrong” to limit employment opportunities for reasons that fall outside of many people’s control. And this will be true, he says, “until we’re in a situation where everybody who wants to be vaccinated is able to.”

Considering these circumstances, it’s important to think about potential consequences of setting vaccination mandates, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting a greater amount of safety from the people you hire (especially for a job that requires going into strangers’ offices or homes, in the case of tape syncs) but because larger systems have established and exacerbated privilege, and these kinds of mandates could perpetuate them.

For those crying privacy violations (or “discrimination,” as misguided as that is) in response to vaccine requirements, the concerns feel largely misplaced. Plus, as a reminder, mandates in general are nothing new. States decide their own vaccination rules, some opting, on their own, to set the strictest of guidelines (extending them not only to students in public systems, for example, but those at private and religious schools). Vaccine-related travel restrictions are also neither new nor a direct effect of COVID-19: Dating back to the 1960s, many countries have limited entry to people vaccinated against yellow fever.

These conversations have happened before. At the same time, they’re always evolving, both over time, in response to new diseases, and day to day, in response to this one. Keep an eye out.

Aria Bracci
INOCULATION AND AUDIO

A debate (of sorts) cropped up in an audio listserv this week that feels important to thumb down.

With more and more people getting vaccinated — but many other people continuing to go unvaccinated — some employers are considering (or already implementing) vaccination requirements. While we’ve seen that lots of audio work can be done remotely, there still remain in-person tasks that some producers are itching to resume, like recording in person if someone isn’t able to do it themselves (or would otherwise capture subpar audio quality). With it now being a possibility for tape syncers, the folks who conduct these close-proximity recordings, to have an added layer of protection on top of what’s provided by masking and distancing, some employers have started to float such opportunities only to vaccinated candidates.

This caused some… discussion. Some folks felt this was an invasion of privacy, others expressed doubt that this was legal, and still others, particularly those skeptical about the efficacy of vaccines, boldly likened it to discrimination. (One thing I haven’t yet heard is that freelancers, who are often the ones conducting tape syncs, feel they’re being unfairly made to front another qualification in what’s already an expensive and competitive landscape. But there’s still time.)

Let’s address the legality first, because there’s a pretty short answer: Employer mandates are indeed legal if a particular job necessitates vaccination, say attorneys, with employers able to argue that this is the case for many, many roles (i.e. basically any that involve human interaction). This answer is subject to change based on location, though, because states are actively pursuing legislation to forbid this kind of vaccination-based selectiveness, regardless of why someone is or isn’t vaccinated.

But why someone is or isn’t vaccinated is actually the more interesting point, because that detail is what makes selectiveness more complicated.

If a tape sync job comes down to two people who both want the vaccine, but only one has been able to get it, we’re looking at a problem not of individual liberties but of equity and access, potentially falling along existing lines of vaccination disparity. Yes, vaccines are being administered more quickly in New Mexico than in Mississippi, but with a site-specific job like a tape sync, people in those two states aren’t one another’s competition anyway. Where competition exists is between neighbors with different circumstances, leading one to be vaccinated but not the other. Take, for example, people who haven’t gotten a vaccine because of scheduling logistics, like working multiple jobs or not having reliable transportation to a vaccination site.

The guidance is vast and thorough for how to proceed when employees have religious or disability-related reasons for not getting the vaccine, including how to both accommodate these employees and not disclose to other employees that a colleague needs accommodation.

But what of people having difficulty getting vaccinated for systemic reasons? Black people are not being vaccinated at the same rate as white people, for example, even though the groups’ rates of vaccine hesitancy are nearly equal. This reality, experts say, is what results from what some may think are incidental lifestyle differences (e.g., lack of transportation) but are actually broadly documented inequities.

In an article for The Washington Post, Jeffrey Kahn, who oversees the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, expressed that it was “wrong” to limit employment opportunities for reasons that fall outside of many people’s control. And this will be true, he says, “until we’re in a situation where everybody who wants to be vaccinated is able to.”

Considering these circumstances, it’s important to think about potential consequences of setting vaccination mandates, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting a greater amount of safety from the people you hire (especially for a job that requires going into strangers’ offices or homes, in the case of tape syncs) but because larger systems have established and exacerbated privilege, and these kinds of mandates could perpetuate them.

For those crying privacy violations (or “discrimination,” as misguided as that is) in response to vaccine requirements, the concerns feel largely misplaced. Plus, as a reminder, mandates in general are nothing new. States decide their own vaccination rules, some opting, on their own, to set the strictest of guidelines (extending them not only to students in public systems, for example, but those at private and religious schools). Vaccine-related travel restrictions are also neither new nor a direct effect of COVID-19: Dating back to the 1960s, many countries have limited entry to people vaccinated against yellow fever.

These conversations have happened before. At the same time, they’re always evolving, both over time, in response to new diseases, and day to day, in response to this one. Keep an eye out.

Revolving Door. Got a new job? Tell me — would love to Let The People Know.