January 29, 2021

Law360 Turns to Mark Terman for Insight on Employer Considerations When Workers Decline the COVID-19 Vaccine

In Law360’s article titled “5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Dealing With Vaccine-Averse Workers,” labor and employment partner Mark Terman discusses employer considerations when workers decline the COVID-19 vaccine for medical, religious or other reasons.

According to the publication, employers will likely be confronted with situations where only part of their workforce is vaccinated and will have to balance workplace safety against the potential for discrimination claims.

“If an employee declines an employer mandate for vaccination as a condition to enter into the workplace, employers, of course, will want to know why but need to be cautious about obtaining too much information about a disability or a religious reason stated by the employee,” said Terman. “Those seem to be the two areas of highest sensitivity for potential discrimination claims if an employer does not reasonably accommodate the worker.”

Law360 also shared five missteps employers might make when dealing with their unvaccinated workforce and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance for each potential issue:

  1. Being too glib about medical needs
  2. Basing job decisions on vaccine status
  3. Segregating specific groups of workers
  4. Forcing leave on unvaccinated workers
  5. Shadow-mandating a vaccine

The full article is available for Law360 subscribers.

Full Article

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