Can your employer require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A lot of factors are at play when it comes to requiring vaccinations

ORLANDO, Fla. – An end to the COVID-19 pandemic could be near as more people receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Returning to normal comes with a lot of unknowns

Can an employer require an employee to get a vaccine?

News 6 legal analyst Steven Kramer said a lot of factors are at play when it comes to requiring vaccinations.

If the employer issues a mandate, the employer could face legal challenges.

If the employer doesn’t issue a mandate, the employer could be putting employees at risk.

“It’s completely going to be the employer’s call, the exception would be if the employee has a claim under the American Disability Act (ADA) where they need an accommodation based on that disability or whether they have a sincerely held religious belief,” Kramer said.

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Given all the legal considerations, Kramer said Florida employers can mandate employees to get vaccinated.

“There are some states that are proposing legislation on both sides of this issue, so this is an issue that is ripening and is going to become more topical and more a part of our conversation,” Kramer said.

Kramer said establishing coronavirus policies must be balanced.

“What about employers that choose not to require a vaccination? They might have liability under OSHA that deals with safety, there is basically a general duty clause, to keep employees safe,” Kramer said.

Shari Bobinski with Orange County Public Schools said the district will not be mandating vaccinations.

“The school board has not changed their position on this matter they have stated in public meetings. This is a personal health decision and they will continue, although we will encourage, we will not be mandating the vaccine,” Bobinski said.

None of the vaccines have been officially approved yet, which makes it unlikely for employers to mandate a vaccine that hasn’t been granted full FDA approval.