LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) – During the introduction of the vaccine, many will have to make a personal decision whether to take it or not.
But could your job be at risk if you choose not to get it?
Taking the COVID-19 vaccine is an individual decision, but this decision can have an impact on the workplace.
“Texas and most of the states are free, which means they can fire you for no reason as long as it’s not an illegal reason.”
Victor Trevino Junior, a federal labor law attorney, says employers could choose to require workers to receive the COVID vaccine, but their policies must be in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Employers are allowed to implement mandatory vaccination guidelines as long as they are written, clear and not used for illegal purposes. For example, to discriminate against a person’s religious beliefs or to find ways to fire employees. These vaccination guidelines should focus on workplace health and safety. “
Trevino said employers can quit if they discover that the person who does not want to be vaccinated will expose others to the virus on the job site, posing a significant risk and harm to the health and safety of their colleagues.
“One of the basics is that it has to be for workplace health and safety, as long as you have it as a requirement and have it written down, you are covered.”
However, there are two commonly used exceptions related to medical reasons such as disability and religious objection.
For example, if you have a disability or a genuine religious belief that prevents you from getting the vaccine, employers are required by law to sit down with you and see if they can accept you adequately.
Trevino says if these accommodations are too trivial or place undue burdens on the employer, the employee can still be barred from physically entering the workplace and potentially terminated.
“This area of law is constantly evolving. As we’ll likely get, there are cases and more guidance. “
According to Trevino, this applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
People with 14 employees or less are not covered by laws specifically regulating a mandatory vaccination policy.
He adds that he doesn’t expect employers to set mandatory vaccination guidelines until more doses are available because you can’t need anything that is impossible to get or is not available.
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