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COVID-19 Vaccine: Can employers require you to get it?

Posted at 9:30 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 12:43:49-04

TULSA, Okla. — Nearly 40% of all Oklahoma adults received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 30% are fully vaccinated.

Now, as more people roll up their sleeves many are wondering: will employers require you to get a vaccine?

Some employment law experts say “yes.” Companies have a legal right to require employees to be vaccinated. However, employees also have the right to forgo any vaccine based on medical or religious purposes.

Some companies may require their employees to be vaccinated if they work in close contact with others on a daily basis. That’s when an employer may not be flexible about employees reasons to not get the vaccine.

Kevin Troutman, a legal advisor for Fisher Phillips in Houston, said you’ll need to provide your employer with a legitimate exemption.

“An employer still has to provide for an exception or accommodations for medical or religious reasons. And, if a person asks for accommodations, especially for a medical reason, then they’re really going to have to tie that vaccine requirement to the requirements of the job,” Troutman said.

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with physical or mental impairment and Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act addresses employment discrimination on the basis of religion.

Legally, an employer must consider these laws before requiring you to get the vaccine.

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