As the Covid-19 vaccine continues to be distributed across the country, employees are becoming increasingly reluctant over a mandatory vaccination policy from their employers. Here is what you need to know about whether your employer can make the vaccine mandatory and whether it is likely that they will in the near future.
Could your employer force you to get the Covid-19 vaccine?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a statement in December stating that employers can require employees to get vaccinated before going to work. This means that unless you maintain a right to be accommodated, for a religious or health purpose, employers are within their right to implement a mandatory vaccination policy. As the EEOC states, your employer can require you to get vaccinated in order to make sure that employees don’t pose threats “to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.” Although some companies will issue a mandatory vaccination policy, most companies will probably adopt a wait-and-see approach before making a decision.
However, you may be exempt from mandatory vaccination if you have an accommodation because of a disability or religious reason. If you qualify for one of these exceptions, your employer could be legally required to reasonably accommodate you so that you may continue working without taking the vaccine. This could mean any number of alternatives, including working from home or working in isolation from other employees.
Could your employer be liable if you have an adverse reaction to the vaccine?
Employers will probably wait to adopt a companywide vaccination policy in favor of a recommendation for employees to get vaccinated. The reason is that your employer could open itself up to liability if an employee gets the vaccine and subsequently has an adverse reaction to it. If you get sick because of the vaccine, your employer would probably be liable to a workers compensation claim by you.
If you need advice on Employment Law Issues, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced business attorneys at EPGD Business Law, EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.