Know Your Rights: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Workplace

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the work environment for millions of employers and employees.

As practices continue to operate, many employers are implementing mandatory vaccination programs. Mandated vaccination requirements cannot run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the religious protections of Title BII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).

Conclusion
An employer must conduct an internal review of their COVID-19 vaccination policy. In order to comply with federal law and avoid a serious violation as employers, it is crucial to continuously review vaccination policies. The following questions should be considered:
1. Can I require my employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine?
2. If an employee has a disability and cannot receive a vaccination, as an employer, can I ban the employee from the workplace?
3. If an employee does not receive the vaccination due to religious reasons, as an employer, can I ban the employee from the workplace?
4. If an employee does not receive the vaccination due to a disability or religious beliefs, can the employee be fired?
5. Can an employer ask an employee about their disability in association with returning to work?
6. Can an employer ask about the health status of members of an employee’s household?
7. As an employer, can an employee’s request for “reasonable accommodation” be denied?
8. Can an employer fire an employee if they contract COVID-19?