Covid-19

Can Your Employer Require You to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

On the flip side, the employer could also be found liable if the vaccine produces any side effects

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Crazee Burger owner, Garett Bernard, said after 14 years in North Park, he's never had such a difficult year.  

“I’m hopeful that the vaccine is going to bring us back to normal,” Bernard said.

But now as promising news about the vaccine makes its way through the neighborhood, Bernard is feeling more upbeat.

“I will definitely be encouraging my employees to get it,” Bernard said.

But according to Marcelo Dieguez, an employment law attorney, Bernard can legally do much more than encourage it.

“If an employee says ‘I just don’t want to take it, because I don’t want to,’ under the current guidance that we have, they would be able to fire that employee,” Dieguez said.

On the flip side, the employer could also be found liable if the vaccine produces any side effects. 

“If the employer has a policy that mandates the employee get a vaccine and then they develop an allergic reaction or some sort of medical condition, the worker might be able to bring a worker's compensation against that employer,” Dieguez said.

Dieguez says there is still a lot of uncertainty. He doesn't see vaccine mandates being rolled out until the vaccine is readily available in our community.

As for Bernard, he's still unsure whether he will make the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement. 

“I’ll definitely be encouraging, but as a do or die situation, I don't know,” Bernard said. “I still need to do my research." 

Dieguez says anti-discrimination protections like for religion would still be upheld with the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as health exemptions.

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