According to a survey from August 2021, 33% of employers would let an employee go immediately if they refused the COVID-19 vaccine without having a viable reason for it (such as a chronic illness). Many businesses also encourage vaccinations but do not require it.
The question here is whether an employer is allowed to enforce such a policy and whether it violates a human right or law.
Can a Company Require Mandatory Vaccination?
Employers can freely demand that all workers get the vaccine as per the US Code, which states that “an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals.”
Yet, the vaccines have been granted only EUA, or Emergency Use Authorization, meaning they have undergone testing but not enough so that we’re not 100% sure of their effects.
The EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has a guide that signifies a mandatory program for vaccination is not forbidden under federal law – but it must consider specific legal obligations and nuances.
What if Someone Refuses the Vaccine?
Before enforcing a vaccination mandate, the company must accommodate each employee’s disabilities, medical conditions, or religious beliefs. Depending on the employee’s position in the workplace, employers can also come up with alternative solutions for employees opposing vaccination.
Remote work, changing the physical workplace on company grounds, or providing a leave of absence are common alternative solutions.
Vaccination is mandatory in some cases, so you may have to consult with a law firm for mandatory vaccine litigation before proceeding.
Employee’s Accommodations and Vaccination
Generally, an employer can make a vaccination exception in two crucial cases – disability and religious beliefs accommodations.
The company must provide suitable accommodation if an employee has a high-risk disability that doesn’t allow them to get vaccinated. This means that specific employer policies must change to accommodate disabled employees, at least regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. In turn, the company will provide a working environment suitable for these particular employees.
The Americans with Disabilities Act ( also known as ADA) places in this group not only people with physical disabilities but also those with chronic illnesses. Some employees can enter this category for a specific period while their condition is ongoing, for instance, employees who are pregnant.
It’s best to accommodate workers according to the two following criteria:
- Their disability;
- Their degree of limitation (what they can and cannot perform in the workplace).
Regarding mandatory vaccine requirements, employers must respect and provide the right accommodations for employees with certain religious beliefs, as long as this doesn’t harm the company’s prospects.
The employer reserves the right to question a worker’s sincerity regarding their religious practices and can only accommodate religious beliefs that are “sincerely held.”
Seek Legal Advice From a Professional Law Firm in Los Angeles
Our Haffner Law team is the right fit if you need a reliable law firm for mandatory vaccine litigation in the Los Angeles area.
You can get a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys just by visiting our website. We can help you with vaccine litigation, bad faith insurance, property damage, and more.
For further details, call us at 1-844-HAFFNER or email us, and we will happily provide you with legal assistance.