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Lukas Clary in The Sacramento Bee: A COVID Vaccine is On The Way. Will Employers Require Their Workers Get The Shot?

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law

Sacramento Bee reporter Darrell Smith spoke with labor and employment attorney Lukas Clary for his article on the coming COVID vaccines and whether employers might require their workers to get vaccinated.

With a look at past precedent — H1N1 — we can conclude that an employer will be able to require a vaccination as a condition of employment,” said Lukas Clary, an employment law attorney at Sacramento firm Weintraub Tobin.

But, Clary added, the issue isn’t that straightforward. If the workers are represented by a union, a COVID-19 vaccination program may have to be negotiated with the employees’ bargaining unit. Employers must also consider an employee’s religious beliefs that preclude them from being vaccinated or a medical reason for not taking a vaccine. Liability is also a concern, Clary said. Even if businesses are able to require vaccinations, “It may not be what they want to do,” Clary said. “If someone had an adverse reaction (to the vaccine), it could trigger a workers’ compensation claim.

Clary’s advice: “Encourage but stop short of requiring it. That may be the safe approach for now.

Read the full article here.