Can employers make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?
Yes, with a few exceptions.
Experts say U.S. employers may ask employees to take safety measures, including vaccination This does not necessarily mean you will be fired if you refuse, but you can already sign a waiver or agree to work under specific conditions to limit any risk that you can pose for yourself or for others.
“Employers generally have a broad scope” for making rules for the workplace, said Dorit Reiss, a law professor specializing in vaccination policies at the University of California Hastings College of Law. “It’s their business.”
The rules will vary by country. But the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has allowed companies to send influenza and other vaccines, and has indicated they may require COVID-19 vaccines.
There are exceptions. For example, people may apply for exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Some states have proposed laws limiting the mandate of vaccines because of their “emergency use” status, but that may become less of a problem since Pfizer has asked for full approval and others are likely to follow suit.
How employers approach the problem will vary. Many may not want to request vaccination because of the administrative burden of tracking compliance and handling exemption requests, said Michelle S. Strowhiro, employment counselor and attorney at McDermott Will & Emery. Legal claims can also arise.
As a result, many entrepreneurs are likely to strongly encourage vaccination without making it mandatory, Strowhiro said.
Walmart, for example, offers a $ 75 bonus for employees who provide proof that they have been vaccinated.