Legal Lens: Can employers force employees to get vaccinated? A Brown & Crouppen attorney explains

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – Attorney Brandon Lamar Jackson from the Brown & Crouppen Law Firm joins FOX 2 to answer today’s question, which deals with employees and the COVID vaccine.

Can employers mandate their workers get the vaccine? According to Jackson, the answer is “yes.”

Missouri is an at-will state, meaning an employer can terminate an employee for any lawful reason.

“Turning towards the COVID-19 vaccine, what this means is your boss can require you to get the vaccine,” Jackson said. “There are three exceptions for the mandate to the vaccine. One is if you have a valid health reason. If you have a health objection to take the COVID-19 vaccine then your employer must provide reasonable accommodations.”

Another exemption is for severely held religious beliefs. The third one deals with union members.

“If you are a member of union, your employer may have to negotiate terms under which you must receive vaccine under your union rep,” Jackson said.

Employers having the authority to force vaccinations is not an unprecedented issue, according to Jackson.

“We actually have dealt with these issues before,” he said. “There are a number of employers currently that require employees to get the flu vaccine, for example. So, it’s an issue we have seen before.”

Attorneys at Brown & Crouppen have been asked by people if they have can be forced to vaccinate by their employers.

“As you are aware, there are lots of people who have worry over the vaccine,” Jackson said. “I think there is a lot of misinformation, so yes, this is something lawyers are talking about and employees are talking about.”

There’s one more issue Jackson wants to make sure employees understand. Think twice before asking your employer to force other employees to get vaccinated.

“An employee can’t force a private company employer to do anything,” he said. “Under the Americans With Disability Act, an employer does not have to share health information on employees with another one.” For more information, click here.

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