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Employers’ latest quandary: COVID-19 vaccines (can employers force employees to vaxx-up?)
Human Resource Executive ^ | September 16, 2020 | Carol Patton

Posted on 09/17/2020 6:44:36 PM PDT by DoodleBob

The eventual COVID-19 vaccine is primed to create a legal showdown for many employers.

According to a summer Gallup poll, 35% of Americans would not get a free, FDA-approved vaccine if it were available today.

This places companies in a predicament. How can they protect their employees if more than one-third are unwilling to take the vaccine?

The default rule in the American workplace—excluding employers in Montana and Puerto Rico—is to observe at-will employment, which generally means employees can be terminated for any reason if it’s not illegal or prohibited by employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements, says Alissa Kranza, attorney at Lieser Skaff Alexander law firm.

“Employers need to stay informed of the particular laws in their state and look at their particular employee contract, agreement or handbook to determine what specific situations will allow for termination,” she says. “Ultimately, those contracts will dictate whether or not termination is allowed for refusing a vaccine.”

Since the virus travels across state lines, there’s also been talk of Congress mandating a vaccine under the commerce clause, but Kranza believes this is unrealistic. She says employee rights would be at risk and it could trigger an avalanche of lawsuits.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a uniform practice for what HR can do. Every industry is different. So are their employees and jobs. She suggests that HR evaluate the makeup of its workforce and review current policies or processes for handling exemption requests. For those needing a religious exemption, it’s not the religion itself that matters, she explains, but the sincerity of the employee’s belief in those practices, even if they’re not widespread.

Employees may also refuse a vaccination under OSHA or ADA laws if it threatens to do more harm than good. Some may take biologics or drugs that weaken the immune system, for example, which increases their risk of catching the virus, becoming seriously ill or even dying.

In such scenarios, Kranza says, protected workers will require accommodations, such as working remotely, or being reassigned to other jobs where they can use a plexiglass screen, social distance, wash their hands or wear a mask.

Meanwhile, HR is better off making vaccines optional versus mandating them, which tends to sour or terminate employee relationships, she says, adding that HR can launch a pro-vaccine campaign. However, if someone has a bad reaction to the vaccine, that could result in a worker’s compensation claim.

Looking ahead, Kranza says, HR’s path is “clear as mud.”

“There are a lot of [people] who want to push this as though things are clear and employers can force everyone [to get vaccinated] and there won’t be any backlash,” she says. “We’re a big country and will get different reactions.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: covid19; employers; vaccine
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Btw, The Hill reported on a poll today where about half of the respondents said they would not take a vaccine, down from 72% in April.
1 posted on 09/17/2020 6:44:36 PM PDT by DoodleBob
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To: DoodleBob

I would sue if i was let go by an employer for refusing a vaccine.


2 posted on 09/17/2020 6:50:02 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not Averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: DoodleBob

How can employers force vaccine if everyone’s working from home ?


3 posted on 09/17/2020 6:50:18 PM PDT by Col Frank Slade
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To: DoodleBob

Ya think employers are going to force people to take every known vaccine for every virus? Not going to happen.


4 posted on 09/17/2020 6:51:44 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: DoodleBob

Don’t want to get the shot? Find a new job.


5 posted on 09/17/2020 7:02:27 PM PDT by Beagle8U ("Cuties" is the Official movie of the Pedo-Joe campaign.)
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To: Beagle8U
Don’t want to get the shot? Find a new job.

That's right in the well-known hoax-pandemic Constitutional rights-nullification clause of the US Constitution.

6 posted on 09/17/2020 7:07:37 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. -E Snowden)
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To: Secret Agent Man

You could sue away, but unless a government agency, a private employee is allowed to mandate what he or she feels is appropriate for his or her employees. I guess you like to commit Lawfare instead of celebrate freedoms. Why am I not surprised? And before you launch into your usual irrelevant tirade, this is a question of can a private entity do what is wishes, and the answer is yes. Otherwise you are own the wrong board and I suggest democraticunderground for you. Its funny, you dont want anyone to impose anything on you, but you are comfortable imposing your will on others by lawsuit.


7 posted on 09/17/2020 7:08:51 PM PDT by gas_dr (Trial lawyers AND POLITICIANS are Endangering Every Patient in America: INCLUDING THEIR LIBERTIES)
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To: Beagle8U
"Don’t want to get the shot? Find a new job."

Maybe I am missing something, but, assuming that the vaccine works, the only people at risk are those that don't take the vaccine, e.g. assumption of the risk. So who cares?

8 posted on 09/17/2020 7:09:14 PM PDT by fini
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To: dragnet2

There were several vaccines I was required to have, including the flu shot when I worked in the hospital.


9 posted on 09/17/2020 7:09:38 PM PDT by DLfromthedesert
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To: DLfromthedesert

Do ya think chicken licken should have the same policies?


10 posted on 09/17/2020 7:11:07 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: DoodleBob

seems like HIPPA *SHOULD* keep issues like vaccination private ...


11 posted on 09/17/2020 7:11:34 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Beagle8U

Don’t want to get the shot?

- no drivers license for you
- no flying for you
- no business license for you

etc., etc.,

That’s an authoritarian knee-jerk reaction that’s entirely anti-freedom and anti-American.

Businesses will lose in the end.


12 posted on 09/17/2020 7:11:41 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: dragnet2
"Ya think employers are going to force people..."

Many have and currently are forcing employees to get the Wuhan Virus test.

Do you think the people waiting 4-5 in their cars to get tested are just looking for a way to kill time?

13 posted on 09/17/2020 7:12:38 PM PDT by Deaf Smith (When a Texan takes his chances, chances will be taken that's for sure)
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To: Beagle8U

Pathetic comment.


14 posted on 09/17/2020 7:13:00 PM PDT by Phillyred (Kieran Hussie)
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To: Beagle8U

F*** you buddy.


15 posted on 09/17/2020 7:14:20 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: Deaf Smith

I have no idea what they’re doing. Those people can wait in their vehicles for 2 days. It doesn’t matter to me what other people do.


16 posted on 09/17/2020 7:16:21 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: DoodleBob
I'm certain I've already had covid, so I'm already vaccinated.

What now Bill Gates?

17 posted on 09/17/2020 7:16:27 PM PDT by Manic_Episode (F that S. Shoot em in the face!)
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To: Beagle8U

I would, and my employer would lose far more revenue than they would want to when word got out


18 posted on 09/17/2020 7:16:53 PM PDT by Manuel OKelley
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To: Phillyred

It is a little stern, however it is correct. As a condition of employment, a PRIVATE employer can mandate vaccination. If the employee doesnt like it, he is free to look elsewhere. So I think its important here to understand that freedom goes both ways.


19 posted on 09/17/2020 7:17:41 PM PDT by gas_dr (Trial lawyers AND POLITICIANS are Endangering Every Patient in America: INCLUDING THEIR LIBERTIES)
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To: EEGator

Try that, see how you make out.


20 posted on 09/17/2020 7:18:02 PM PDT by Beagle8U ("Cuties" is the Official movie of the Pedo-Joe campaign.)
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