Climbing into the near year, tensions are stiff with the new Covid-19 vaccine being distributed. We came across a simple but effective article discussing Utah employers possibly requiring employees to take the vaccine once it is offered. Spencer Phillips made it clear that due to Utah being an ‘Employment At-Will” state, “They could say you either get a vaccine or you don’t have a job here anymore.” (Fox13, 2020)
Employment at will means that an employer may generally terminate an employee at any time and for any reason, unless a law or contract provides otherwise. Some examples of ways an employee could argue against a mandatory vaccine requirement would be if they had a disability or a sincerely held religious belief that prevented them from getting the vaccine. Employers must look extremely close at these exceptions; it will be the duty of the employer to offer accommodations to these employers who do not receive the vaccine under an exception.
While the effects and results of the vaccine are still unknown, being prepared of your rights as an employee and/or as an employer will assist you in the upcoming months. The rules and regulations surrounding Covid-19 and employment are not set in stone. There is a lot of gray area that could cause problems for many in the workplace during the distribution of these vaccines. If you are unsure of your rights, reach out to an employment attorney.
*This article is for informational use only, none of the facts or laws have been reviewed*