With COVID-19 vac­ci­na­tions under­way and wide­spread avail­abil­i­ty in sight, many employ­ers want to know whether they can require their employ­ees to get the vaccine.

While recent EEOC guid­ance implies that they expect many employ­ers to require a vac­cine, there are already sev­er­al states where bills are being intro­duced to pre­vent employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion against those who refuse a vac­cine (MN, NJ, SC), and it’s like­ly bills like this will be intro­duced in more states soon. Addi­tion­al­ly, we antic­i­pate that there will be state and fed­er­al law­suits from indi­vid­u­als, which may result in rul­ings that impact the law in indi­vid­ual states or entire cir­cuits (for instance, the Ninth Cir­cuit, which cov­ers AL, AR, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, or the Eleventh Cir­cuit, which cov­ers AL, FL, GA).

Giv­en the legal risks here, and since many Amer­i­cans will not have access to a vac­cine until Spring or even Sum­mer, we believe it would be pru­dent for most employ­ers to wait to see how things play out in courts and leg­is­la­tures across the coun­try before decid­ing to require vaccinations.

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on ThinkHR