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Is It Really Legal for Employers to Require Employees Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Ed Buckley

Is it really legal for employers to require their employees get the Covid-19 vaccine?

This is a question I am getting asked a lot. In fact I recently was interviewed by WABE's Rose Scott on her local NPR radio show “Closer Look,” and discussed this and other employment issues people are facing during the pandemic.

As one of the labor and employment lawyers here at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew, Rose and I talked about where your rights end and your employers’ requirements begin when it comes to the covid vaccine.

The issue of vaccines at work have been in the news because the Biden administration is pushing for employers with more than 100 employees to require mandatory vaccination or COVID testing.

My answer, which might come as a surprise to some, is that it’s indeed legal for employers to require their employees to be vaccinated. The general rule of thumb is that employers, regardless of any vaccine mandate by OSHA or the president, can require employees to be vaccinated.

But there are a few exceptions such as for medical and religious reasons and I’ve said before that they must be real exemptions, not just objections because someone is anti-vaccine.

These questions do come up quite a bit – and if you have questions about your employment rights under the law during the pandemic, please call us at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew at 404-471-3725.

And to hear my whole interview on WABE-FM, a local NPR station in Atlanta, click here.

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