As vaccination numbers rise, many employees are returning to brick-and-mortar workplaces. But those who are reluctant to get vaccinated may wonder: can my employer really require me to get vaccinated? The short answer is, yes.
Objectors may believe they can sue over such a requirement, but in reality, businesses face little legal risk. In the past, employers have required flu vaccines to mitigate the threat of an outbreak among their workforce. Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is simply a continuation of previously upheld principles. It’s not so different from schools’ long-held vaccination requirements.
Of course, exceptions to vaccination requirements do exist, specifically for those whose circumstances fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other federal laws that protect medical and religious rights. Employees who seek to utilize these avenues must provide a precise and adequate explanation for why their medical conditions or religious beliefs excuse them from inoculation.
Employees ineligible for these exemptions may receive additional accommodations, depending on their employers. Some companies may require masks for unvaccinated workers, charge higher insurance premiums, implement remote work, and more. Employers, however, are not obligated to offer these accommodations.
Encouraged vs. Mandated
Some employers have opted to encourage vaccination rather than mandate it. Of course, this is at the discretion of the company. Employees in “mandated organizations” should not treat the requirement as a suggestion. Those who do may be subject to termination.
Employees may still wonder if testing positive for COVID-19 in the past may excuse them from getting the vaccine now. Chances are, no. It would be too difficult to validate every employee’s positive case, especially when many people did not get official test results when they had COVID-19.
Experts in Employment Law
Have you faced unlawful coercion to get vaccinated? Is an employee attempting to sue over your vaccine mandate? Either way, Pearson Butler is here to help. Our expert team has proven success in employment laws unique to the Beehive State.
Call Pearson Butler at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation.