Can You Require Employees to Get Vaccinated?

Can You Require Employees to Get Vaccinated?

This week we are talking about what vaccine policies businesses are able to take at this time, and of course, all of the exceptions that come along with those policies. Let’s dive in.

Mandatory Vaccine Policies and Medical Exceptions

One of the most common questions I have been getting lately is “Can I have a mandatory vaccination policy for my employees?” The answer is yes, but… well, watch the video.

The EEOC has some guidance as well. While employers with 14 or fewer employees are not covered by Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act, many state laws have similar requirements and it can save you a bit of a financial headache if you comply. 

If you want to talk about a mandatory vaccine policy, I strongly encourage speaking to a lawyer (did I mention I am a lawyer). You can schedule a consult here.

What about Vaccine Policies and Religious Beliefs?

In addition to a medical exception to mandatory vaccination policies for employers, management should be aware that a sincerely held religious belief is also a permissible exception.

This reason is a bit more difficult to demonstrate than a medical exception, but it is legitimate. Here is a list of what many common religious organizations say about vaccines. 

This is an area of law that is, by its very nature, going to be a bit fuzzy. If you have an employee seeking an exception from a mandatory vaccination policy, you should really consult lawyers.

What about Vaccine Policies and Job Accommodations?

I suspect the most commonly requested accommodation from a mandatory vaccination policy is going to telework. But that is not the only one and employers should understand their obligation is to conduct a reasonable inquiry and dialogue about a requested accommodation for medical or religious reasons. But an employer need not accept the employee’s preferred accommodation. Here is a good resource for accommodations.

What about Vaccine Policies and Scammers?

So, if there is one thing I can always predict that when there are government mandates or a need for some documents that need to prove something, there will be scam that comes about. I talk about one of the scams that is starting to grow providing “documents” that purport to prove a sincerely held religious belief that would justify an accommodation from mandatory vaccine policies.