Can Employers Force Their Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Can employers force their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine? The WHO says it doesn’t expect widespread vaccinations until mid-2021, but employers are asking this and other questions about how it will impact their ability to get back to work or back into the office.

The short answer is yes. The federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is likely to make it legal for an employer to require the vaccine if its employees come back to work, according to Sarah Montgomery, a labor and employment attorney with Jackson Walker. “There are probably going to be situations where a lot of employers are going to want to have a mandatory vaccination program,” she says. “The EEOC is likely going to say that mandatory vaccination programs are permitted because COVID-19 is a pandemic.”


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