Some may be familiar with the ongoing concern about an employer forcing employees to get the vaccine. However, a Florida Elementary School presented the opposite question: is it possible to get fired for being vaccinated? Seemingly these issues are closely related.
Do any laws protect employees against an employer vaccine ban?
It is likely that the American Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prevents an employer from successfully banning employees from receiving the vaccine. The ban likely violates the ADA because it interferes with the right to access medical treatment. This is particularly harmful for employees who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 because of an existing disease. One lawyer responding to the Florida school vaccination ban stated the ban was akin to preventing an individual with cancer from getting chemotherapy. A ban on vaccinations prevents individuals from making the best decision that meets their individual health needs.
Additionally, in New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) can protect employees as well. CEPA prevents employers from retaliating against employees who object or refuse to participate in an activity, practice, or policy that is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning public health. The U.S. Government Policy as well as New Jersey state policy both condone and encourage getting the vaccine when possible.
How does the ADA address the vaccine?
The ADA COVID-19 Guidance addresses how company policies can require or encourage the vaccine. But the FAQ also states that the employer must offer reasonable accommodations for those who cannot receive the vaccine due to disability, religious belief, or pregnancy.
The information about an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination is confidential medical information under the ADA. This requires an employer to keep the employee’s medical information, including documentation or confirmation of COVID-19 vaccine, confidential. The vast majority of guidance provided by the ADA discusses how employees can require the vaccine. There is little guidance about those who face opposition due to receiving the vaccine.
Get Legal Help
If you faced harassment or lost your job because you received the vaccine, we can help. At McOmber McOmber & Luber, we take a proactive approach to each and every legal issue our clients face. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation.