Legal Questions Surrounding The Vaccine Requirement

CBS 2 anchor and attorney Irika Sargent answers questions regarding employers requiring the COVID vaccine and what can be done if refuse a vaccine.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: We've received hundreds of questions from you. Irika, you can help with this one. Fred Rossi wants to know if an employer can require, require employees to get the vaccine.

IRIKA SARGENT: Well, yes, an employer can actually legally require employees to get the vaccine, with some exceptions. Let's take you through this. The policy has to be applied to all employees in a nondiscriminatory way, so you can't say only women or only Asian employees must get it.

There can be times when an employee says based on a medical reason or religious belief that they can't get the vaccine, and in those cases, an employer must decide if a reasonable accommodation could be made, like working from home or working with a mask, separate from other employees. And there is also the possibility that an employer can fire an employee who refuses to get the shot if they don't fall into one of these exceptions. Now if you have an employment contract, perhaps that could be a different story.

BRAD EDWARDS: Hey, Irika Sargent, Esquire, thank you for putting the lawyer hat on. Now we're going to take another break here, but we want to show you that scannable QR code. So grab your phone, take a picture of it. It will take you right to our vaccine tracker on our website, cbschicago.com. We'll be right back.