Wesley Chapel, FL asked in Employment Law for Florida

Q: Can I get fired for not getting the Covid vaccine?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jay P. Lechner
Jay P. Lechner
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Under Florida law, private employers generally may require employees to be vaccinated as long as accommodations are made for disability or religious objections, as recently described by EEOC. Under federal law, there have been recent challenges under 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3, which addresses the “emergency use of an unapproved product,” but thus far these cases have been unsuccessful. With respect to governmental employers, Florida law prohibits them from requiring “persons” to provide proof of a vaccine “to gain access to” or “entry upon ... the governmental entity’s operations,” which does not expressly prohibit, but could be construed as prohibiting, government employers from requiring employees to provide proof of vaccination. There are no reported decisions on this issue yet.

On the other hand, communicating with coworkers regarding concerns about a private employer's vaccination policy would likely be deemed protected concerted activity under the NLRA, and being fired for such communications could be unlawful.

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