Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Can Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations?

Employers and employees alike are wondering… can vaccines be required for workers to return to the office? Seems like an easy answer since the law is clear that COVID-19 vaccination can be required as a condition of employment (with certain caveats). However, as the saying goes, nothing is as simple as it seems.

There are many complications, including the allowed exemptions under which an individual can refuse vaccination. Suppose employers do require vaccinations as a condition of returning to the workplace. In that case, they must be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities (per the Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA) and religious objections (per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.) This protection excludes non-religious beliefs. It also doesn't exempt individuals who object to vaccination because of political views or personal reasons.

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