Can Your Employer Make You Get Vaccinated?
As the COVID-19 vaccine, and soon to be vaccines, begin to make their way around the nation, we can begin to think again what it might be like to have a normal work environment again. Our office here at the radio station has been a ghost town since March. No more bustling hallways or conversations around the water cooler. But with a vaccine now available, a return to that work environment is looking possible again in 2021. But can your employer make you get the vaccine?
KCRG asked that very question to Associate Professor Law at the University of Iowa, Anya Prince. The short answer? Yes, they can. Prince said that most employees work at will and a company has the right to make the vaccine mandatory, and could fire a person if they chose not to get it.
But hang on, there are some very notable exceptions to this rule. Prince told KCRG that a person can be excused from the vaccine for medical reasons such as allergies, or because of a person's faith. Also, the American's With Disabilities Act the employer has to try and find ways to accommodate the worker, like having them work from home or wear a mask while in the office. Prince says that an employer can't fire you if a disability prevents you from getting the vaccine.
A company can ask you to bring in a doctor's note to prove that you have been vaccinated. For some, it might feel like an invasion of privacy. But if we want to get back to the fun group settings we've enjoyed in the past, we're going to have to get the shot.