It has been an unprecedented year for many reasons. The pandemic has generated many unknowns for countless people in the U.S. and across the globe. With the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines, it seems that more offices and workspaces are resuming business as usual. After working from home for a year, however, bosses and employees alike are wondering, “can an employer require you to get vaccinated?” The answer, however, is that it depends.
While private sector employers might be able to require vaccines, there are long-standing exceptions to such requirements for people with disabilities and those whose religious beliefs prohibit them from getting a vaccine. Simply not believing in vaccines, or in this particular vaccine, is not actually something that may exempt a person from an employer requiring the Covid vaccination. Asking questions about why an employee is not getting vaccinated, however, can lead employers into problematic territory. Privacy concerns must be taken into account, as well as potential for discriminating against a person with a disability or religious beliefs that prevents him or her from getting vaccinated.
If an employer requires the vaccine, paid time off should be provided to do it. Another problem may arise should an employer require verification or proof of vaccination from employees. Once again, privacy concerns come into play. Submitting proof of vaccination can easily risk running afoul of privacy laws like HIPAA.
If you want to know more about how a vaccine requirement might affect your business or employment, contact us right away. We can discuss the legal implications of such a policy and how it may affect your personal situation. We are your local, experienced, law firm! Do not hesitate to call, chat or click here to contact us today!