Category: employment

The answer is “Yes” with some exceptions.  Your employer must consider the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA’)  and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII).  Both of these statutes are complex.   They protect against workplace discrimination based on disability or religious belief.  What follows is a  summary of those statutes and how they relate to Covid-19 vaccinations.  This is not intended to be legal advice.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.  It has published guidance on covid-19 relating to employment.  In December of 2020, it added a section (K) that directly addresses the vaccine.  Written in Q & A format, it is a good resource:

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Almost every week I get a telephone call from someone in a state of shock who has been terminated from their job and they want to know if their firing was lawful. In most instances it probably was legal, because of the doctrine of “employment at will.” But there are important exceptions.

“Employment at will” means that a person can be fired for any reason, no reason or even a mistaken reason.  The justification for this principle is that the employee can quit for any reason or no reason.  Neither party, employer or employee, is forced to stay in an employment relationship with the other.  In real life, however, this supposed reciprocity is far more harmful to employees than it is to employers.

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Workplace bullying is a common occurrence in the United States.  It can be found in all types of workplaces, such as schools, hospitals, nonprofits organizations, government, restaurants, and corporate offices.  No workplace is immune.   Perpetrators and victims come from all walks of life — doctors, nurses, managers, school teachers, minimum wage earners, lawyers.   No one is immune from being bullied.

I frequently receive telephone calls from persons who say they are being bullied at work and want to know what they can do about it.  All too often there will not be a legal remedy because bullying is not illegal in any state.  Bullying does not violate any State or Federal laws.

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