Updated: May 19, 2022
How Workplace Vaccine Requirements Play Into California Employment Law
At the moment, workplace vaccine requirements are at the hands of your employer. In other words, they have the choice to make vaccines mandatory and subsequently have the right to fire you should you not comply.
Here are some of the most crucial information you need to know about workplace vaccine requirements in California, how they're implemented, and what possible changes might happen.
Can I Get Fired For Refusing To Get Vaccinated In California?
While your boss can't restrain you and forcefully make you get vaccinated, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allows them the right to fire you for non-compliance. Hence, if your employer has a workplace vaccination mandate, you'll be subject to the policies that your employer chooses to implement.
That said, there are exemptions to these mandatory vaccination policies. For example, if you have valid health concerns or religious reasons, your employer won't be able to fire or suspend you for non-compliance. Additionally, anything that violates policies under the Americans with Disabilities Act on its own (ADA) is also considered illegal.
Can You Sue Your Employer For Making Vaccination Mandatory?
You can. There is no policy or regulation that prevents you from doing so. However, keep in mind that the federal government supports COVID 19 immunization programs that are mandatory. Employers have the power to fire employees who refuse to cooperate unless they qualify for one of the exemptions.
If you qualify for medical or religious exemptions, though, you may have a case. If this is the case, contact a California Employment Attorney for assistance with a potential employment case.
Can Your Employer Require You To Show Your Vaccination Card?
Employers can't usually make you hand over your medical records unless it's very necessary for your job (i.e., pilots). Vaccination cards and certificates, however, are an exemption.
As a result, your employer has the authority to ask you to present or submit your certificate. This also applies to places of employment where you must present your immunization card to get access to the office or job site.
Can I Refuse To Work With Unvaccinated People?
No. Similar to your employer's right to adopt a required vaccination policy, they also have the freedom to refuse. While you can't refuse to work with unvaccinated people, you can negotiate with your boss privately. You can, for example, request to work remotely when COVID instances are on the rise. However, you must establish this arrangement with your employer, and there is no certainty that you will be permitted or granted these benefits.
What Are The Changes To Look Out For?
Recently, a new bill was introduced by California lawmakers. This new bill requires employers to report that their employees, regardless of classification, are all fully-immunized against the Coronavirus. If passed into law, this would be effective at the start of 2023.
If implemented, this would apply to businesses and firms of any size. If your employer doesn't have workplace vaccine requirements, then they'll be required to implement policies should the law be passed.
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