(WXYZ) – We have seen cases across the country of people risking their jobs when it comes to saying no to the COVID vaccine.
“This is a new topic. It’s not the tried and true. And we’re used to it. It’s like, ‘Wait a minute, this is a medical procedure, how do you know I might get an injection in my arm?’ It naturally strikes some people as ‘I shouldn’t have to do this,’ “said Deborah Gordon, labor and civil rights attorney.
And you don’t have to get vaccinated, but it can have consequences. This week, 153 Houston Methodist employees, including nurses from the Texas hospital, were laid off or fired after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. At Ann Arbor, Michigan Medicine does not require employees to be vaccinated. The same goes for Beaumont Health, as the FDA only approved it for use in an emergency.
“Since the FDA did not take the final step to remove this emergency clearance, the government is not out there forcing its staff to get the vaccine,” said Gordon.
But what if your boss says you need to get the shot?
“Yes, your private employer can tell you, ‘You must have a vaccine to work here. You must have proof of vaccination to work here,'” said Gordon.
But what if your doctor says that for some reason your body can’t handle the vaccine?
“If you really can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons, let’s move on to another law, the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Gordon.
And that means that your employer has to adapt to your situation.
“If your employer can consider a legitimate medical situation that you have, he or she must,” she said. “So what does that mean with a vaccine? If you’re immunocompromised and can come to work but can’t get a vaccine, your employer can say to you, ‘You work over here in the back office.’ this is remote, you have to wear a mask, you have to take other precautions, I can accommodate that. But you cannot be part of our general workforce here. I will not endanger others. ‘”
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “federal EBO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as long as employers follow reasonable precautions under the ADA and the title VII comply. ” of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EBO considerations. “
But if, like in Texas, you just don’t want to get vaccinated, don’t be surprised if your employer gives you the ax. However, some companies may not want to risk losing employees. Gordon says you know what’s on the line.
“That will keep bubbling. Because we still have a certain number of people in the community, our population, who don’t want to get vaccines, ”she said.