Can You Require Your Employee to Get Vaccinated? Yes, But…


As general contractors are requiring subcontractors to provide proof all their employees on a jobsite are vaccinated for COVID-19, more subcontractors are contacting us, inquiring about the legality of making such a request. According to the EEOC, an employer is permitted to require all their employees entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The employer must comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other EEO considerations (such as religious exemptions or legitimate health concerns). But this guideline raises as many questions as it answers. What about liability issues if the employee you compel to get vaccinated has a negative reaction? Our understanding is that under most state laws, an adverse reaction would be covered by workers’ compensation. Of course, there is scant case law on this scenario so it hasn’t been tested. Employers are encouraged to check with their carriers.

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