For the moment, organizations should recommend that workers get vaccinated, and wait to see how things play out.
As organizations gear up for impending COVID-19 vaccinations, preparations should include creating a legal strategy—specifically on whether to mandate employee vaccinations.
Workplace Wellness Insider consulted with a nationally recognized employment lawyer, Brian Weinthal, about the legal implications.
Weinthal, a partner at the Chicago firm of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, recommends that organizations encourage their workforces to get vaccinated for now, but not to mandate it. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hasn’t yet issued specific guidance on vaccinations, but in March, it ruled that organizations can mandate flu vaccines for their employees.
“If you have the legal right to require and compel one, you most likely have the legal right to require the other,” Weinthal says. “For the moment, I’m advocating that employers should advise their people to get vaccinated, but a mandate is too strong at this time.”