Employment attorney shares how employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccines

If you don't get the mandated vaccine, you could risk losing your job.
If you don't get the mandated vaccine, you could risk losing your job.(KFVS)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - “Employers set health and safety requirements for their workforces all the time, this is just one more example of that,” Andrew Metcalf said.

Employment Attorney, Andrew Metcalf said generally, workplaces can make you get the COVID vaccine, and can fire you if you don’t.

“The employer can say hey we set this condition of employment, we told you you had to meet this condition. Because you can’t, we are separating your employment relationship at this time,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf said there may be some exceptions to that, like if you have a recognized disability or religious reason that prohibits you from taking the vaccine.

Then, employers will need to look at each case individually to determine what to do next.

“That often involves communicating with the employees about exactly what their concerns are and really figuring out whether that’s something that the employer needs to navigate further and figure out if this person should be remaining in the workplace or if it’s something the employer needs to scrutinize,” he said.

We asked you on social media to tell us your thoughts on vaccine requirements in the workplace.

Debbie Wiliams Wright said, “I’ll take my chances without the shot. No thank you.”

And Michael Martin said, “Well if it comes to be mandated I would get it because I need a job to survive. Without a job you can’t buy food or pay bills and you can’t live off the government.”

Metcalf said at this time there aren’t many lawsuits out there related to vaccine mandates, but there could be more in the future.

“It’s something that we could see the legal system getting more involved in in the months and years to come,” he said.

He said time will tell how the Missouri division of employment security treats unemployment claims related to COVID vaccine related layoffs.

The VA just mandated the vaccine for its employers, contractors, and volunteers.

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