A vaccine against the coronavirus is expected to be available soon.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone will choose it.
A gallup survey The publication last month found that 58% of Americans said they were receiving an FDA-cleared COVID vaccine that is provided for free. 42% said they wouldn’t.
So what about that 42%?
What if your employer insists that you get the vaccine and refuses?
Does the law protect you or does it protect your employer?
“An employer who requires a vaccine falls under the Disability Act. So this is a medical exam. And they (the employer) have to give certain accommodations. And that includes having a strong religious belief or sincere religious belief, as well as any type of illness that could make it unsafe for them to take the vaccine. So the answer is, it depends on why they rejected the vaccine, ”Diane Hoffman, director of the Law and Health Program at the University of Maryland School of Law, told MarylandReporter.com on Thursday.
Hoffman added, “If you refuse for these two reasons, the employer will be liable. Otherwise, they are unlikely to be protected from losing their position. “
Jessica Waltman, vice president of compliance at MZQ Consulting, LLC. in Pikesville there were similar feelings.
“Assuming federal guidelines remain the same, employees who simply do not want to get a vaccination for medical or non-religious personal reasons have no legal protection. If an employee claims that they cannot be vaccinated for religious or medical reasons (such as an allergy to any of the vaccines), their employer can request a certificate or medical documentation. The company would also need to offer a sensible alternative, such as wearing an employer-provided N-95 mask to work. “
Waltman added, “From what we now know, an employer could reduce liability by following these rules. Once vaccines are approved and widely available, companies could also encourage their employees to access the vaccine by offering it at work, much like many flu prevention clinics currently offer. Also, group health insurance plans give employees free access to the vaccine while the national public health emergency is in place. Federal regulations on this matter make it clear that COVID-19 vaccines must be covered before any deductible and with no co-payment requirements, even if you leave the network to receive them. “
Del. Brian Chisholm (R-Anne Arundel), who sits on the Committee on Health and Government Operations, said vaccine mandates from employers are likely to generate a significant number of lawsuits.
“Absolutely. If there’s one thing we don’t lack in Maryland or the United States, it’s the attorneys and attorneys who are willing to sue anything. So I think if there are people who will.” find themselves in a situation where they feel like their employer is forcing them to take a vaccine that they don’t want to take – and then they fire them or force them into a situation they are not comfortable with – then sure – I think there will be lawsuits. “
Governor Larry Hogan outlined Maryland’s vaccination scheme to plan in an interview with ABCs Good Morning America on Thursday morning. The state presented the plan to the CDC in October.
“Our plan that we presented to the CDC prioritizes those most at risk. So our healthcare workers are at the forefront, our nursing homes and then the first responders, and once they come in we just work our way down the pyramid of a list. So we hope for 300,000 [vaccines] until the end of December and then hopefully it will really ramp up from there when production starts to accelerate. “
There are 205,399 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Thursday morning, and 4,606 people in Maryland have died from the virus, according to the state health department. The state’s positivity rate is 7.68%, well above the CDC’s recommended guidelines for containment. Maryland has performed more than 4.5 million COVID-19 tests.
Almost 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported nationwide on Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on MarylandReporter.com on December 3, 2020, and is Republished with permission.
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