Can Employees Be Forced to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine?

Two people sitting with masks on

To calamitous coronavirus has led to millions of deaths across the world. The good news is that different pharmaceutical companies are announcing promising clinical trials for the vaccine. For instance, BioNTech and Pfizer have announced that phase 3 of the vaccine is complete, and it shows a 95% effectiveness rate

With the vaccine just about to launch, employers are facing a dilemma whether they should have their employees vaccinated or not. Can employees be forced to get the vaccine?

Religious Exemption

Employees have the right to refuse getting vaccinated on religious grounds based primarily on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). This law is applied to the state, local, and federal government, along with non-governmental employers.  

To show that an employee is exempted from getting vaccinated under Title VII, they must prove 2 conditions: not getting the vaccine doesn’t impose any hardship on the employer, and they hold sincere religious beliefs. 

A person getting vaccinated

Medical Exemption

If a worker has a medical issue outlined by ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990), they’ll be exempted from getting vaccinated. 

To get this exemption from ADA, the employee must prove that they have a disability recognized by the ADA, which inhibits them from taking the vaccine, and this exemption doesn’t impose any hardship on the employer.

Practical Considerations of the Vaccine Policy

Even if the employer gets a green light under the law that all employees receive a vaccine, it would be a risk that may not be worth taking. This risk comes from the fact that the vaccine may have side effects, and it can result in lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims that the organization will have to deal with. Another risk would be the public shaming and backlash as a result of the side effect. Given the fact that the coronavirus has become politicized, a vaccine policy may upset people. 

Employment Lawyers in Towson, Maryland

Luchansky Law’s team of dedicated advocates is cognizant of the challenges employees and employers face during workplace disputes. Therefore, they make the process a breeze for their clients by pursuing the best results and protecting their rights. If you’re faced with workplace harassment, wrongful termination, compliance and policy review, unemployment appeals, or any other related issue, contact Luchansky Law for the best of the best employment lawyer in Maryland

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