Coronavirus Updates

Is it legal for my employer to require the COVID-19 vaccine?

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – There’s been a lot of questions as to whether employers can legally require people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a nutshell, the answer is yes, they can.

“Pretty much any employer can require the vaccine of any of its employees. It’s been deemed an emergent situation so they’re allowed to do that – the issue is if they should,” Richard Walters, Attorney at Shaffer & Shaffer PLLC said.

Although employers can also require proof you’ve been vaccinated, they don’t have to.

“Think of it like a flu shot. A lot of employers require employees to get the flu shot, particularly healthcare. They do require their employees to get the flu shot and they can ask for proof of that flu shot,” Walters said.

A lot of people took their opinions to our WOWK 13 News Facebook page saying, “NO! Against your sovereign right as a human being. Period,” and “Look at all the sheep lining up to toss their copy of the US Constitution in the burn pile.”

On the other hand, some people agree with employees requiring the vaccine saying “I will comply with an employer. I have responsibilities that comes before being a rebel.”

But just like other vaccines, there are exceptions to the rules.

“The EECOC, the equal employment opportunity council treats it just like any other protected class, so if you have a disability or a strong religious belief that prevents you from getting the vaccine, the employer has to provide a reasonable accommodation,” Walters said.

The EEOC exception does not apply to individuals that are simply afraid of getting the vaccine or for people with political reasons.

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