Can employees require COVID-19 vaccinations?

Can employees make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Yes, with a few exceptions.

Experts say employers can ask employees to take safety measures, including vaccination. This does not necessarily mean that you would be fired if you refused, but you may need to sign a waiver or agree to work under specific conditions to limit any risks you may present to yourself or others. .

“Employers generally have a wide scope to set rules in the workplace,” said Dorit Reiss, a professor of immunization policy at the University of California Hastings College of Law. “It’s their business.”

The US Commission for Equal Employment Opportunities has allowed companies to mandate the flu and other vaccines and has indicated that they may require COVID-19 vaccines.

There are exceptions; for example, people may request exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

Even though employers may request vaccinations, there are reasons why they may not want to.

Tracking compliance with mandatory vaccination would be an administrative burden, said Michelle S. Strowhiro, an employment counselor and lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery. Employers should also handle exemption claims – not to mention legal claims that may arise.

As a result, many employers will strongly encourage vaccination without asking for it, Strowhiro said.


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