Should Companies Require the COVID-19 Vaccine?
California Choice - December 16, 2020
Many employers are wondering whether they may require their
employees to be vaccinated from COVID-19. The short
answer is yes.
Generally, employers may require employees to be vaccinated, so long as the vaccination is job-related, consistent with business necessity, and the employer makes reasonable accommodations for disabilities and religious beliefs. But, perhaps the better question is should you require it?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employer may require a vaccination or medical exam when it is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” As such, whether an employer may require a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to turn on questions such as: (1) Does the employee work in a high-risk setting (such as in a hospital or health care facility)? (2) Does the employee often interact with the public (such as a cashier at a grocery store)? (3) How effective is the vaccine?
Even if employers can require employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine, they should expect a flock of requests for exceptions or “reasonable accommodation.”
Employers should also consider employee morale, fears, and concerns. Some employees may be fearful about vaccination side effects. Others may be open to taking the vaccine but may want to wait until it has been available for a while.
CLICK HERE to get more details and on the business necessity, reasonable accommodations, and practical considerations involved with considering making the COVID-19 vaccination required.