Fact Check: Can Companies Fire You For Not Taking A Rushed Covid-19 Vaccine?

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Covid-19 Vaccine
Fact Check: Can Companies Fire You For Not Taking A Rushed Covid-19 Vaccine? Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)

A large portion of Americans have expressed skepticism at taking the rushed covid-19 vaccine. Some say no matter what experts say they will not take it. This, combined with an uncoordinated vaccination rollout, has caused the Trump Administration to fall short of its promised 20 million vaccinations by the end of 2020.

With cases surging again and the U.S. death toll toppling 350,000, business owners are looking for ways to help the country get out of its ‘business unusual’ stage. Some companies have even said they are considering making vaccination mandatory for its employees.

So, can companies fire you if you’re in the group that refuses to take a rushed covid-19 vaccine. According to CBS News, the answer is yes.

“Generally speaking, employers are free to require safety measures like vaccination with exceptions for certain employees,” Aaron Goldstein, a labor and employment partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney, told CBS News. “So the answer is likely to be yes, with an asterisk.”

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It is not a new practice. A precedent has already been set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s allowance of employers to require flu vaccinations.

“Referencing back to that, the likelihood is the guidance EEOC will issue relative to a COVID vaccine is that an employer will be allowed to do that,” attorney Helen Rella of Wilk Auslander told CBS News. “And considering COVID is much worse than the flu, we anticipate they will issue guidelines stating it’s their position that it would be reasonable for an employer to require an employee to get the vaccine.”

There are exceptions in certain cases, however, for those who have medical or religious objections due to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to a survey by Pew Research, 39 percent of Americans said they would not get the vaccine. But if one does not fall into those categories, they can risk losing their jobs if they refuse to follow an employer’s vaccination mandate.

“Under the law, an employer can force an employee to get vaccinated, and if they don’t take it, fire them,” Dallas labor and employment attorney Rogge Dunn told KXAN.