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Can my employer require me to get a vaccination?

by | Sep 15, 2021 | Employment Law

Vaccinations and other medical decisions are very serious decisions for anyone to make. Recently, there has been more and more talk about what your employer can say about the matter. Many people may hear things about forced vaccinations being a form of workplace discrimination, but they are unaware of which classes of people the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects.

If it is not discrimination to force employees to get vaccinated, can your employer force you to get a shot? The short answer is yes, but there are some important details that you should know about the situation. Here are the key takeaways that everyone should know about the workplace and vaccinations:

An employer’s rights

Employers have the right to require all of their employees to get vaccinated, and many already have. Major businesses, including Walmart and Google, have made requirements already. The ability to make this requirement is not a new one, as well. In fact, schools have had a long-standing requirement that staff and students have many different vaccinations.

Are there exemptions to these rights?

While employers have the right to require employees to have vaccinations, there are exemptions to this right. One of these exemptions includes a religious exemption, where employees may say a forced vaccination may interfere with their belief that God will protect them. Having an exemption does not fully protect you, however.

What happens next?

If you submit a religious exemption for any vaccination requirements, your employer is legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodation for you to continue working. Typical accommodations may include working remotely, require confirmation of negative testing, or requiring a mask while working. However, if reasonable accommodations cannot allow you to perform your work duties fully, the employer can let you go.

Prepare for more requirements

If your employer requires vaccinations for you to continue working, keep in mind, they may not be the only ones making these changes. If you have questions about whether your employer is infringing your rights, contact an employment law attorney today.  

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