Q: How do I request an exemption?
My employer has switched from voluntary to mandatory vaccination offering religious/medical exemptions.
A: If you plan on requesting a medical exemption, you need to show your employer the doctor's note with restrictions related to your condition. Your employer will need to work with you to accommodate your restrictions. The exemption is not automatic in the sense that just because you request it, you can walk around the workplace as if nothing happened. The employer has a duty to protect other employees. Your employer will need to find ways to offer you an environment where you can perform the essential functions of your job with your restrictions while ensuring a safe work environment for other employees. For example, it can be remote work. The solution should not pose a hardship on the employer.
If you need a religious exemption, you similarly just inform your employer of your religious beliefs that prohibit you from getting a vaccine. Your employer will also need to find ways to accommodate your religious beliefs unless it poses a hardship on the employer.
A: If you have a medical condition that prevents you from taking the vaccine, get a doctor's note indicating as much and present it to your employer.
If you have a closely held religious belief that prevents you from taking the vaccine, you will need to present that information to your employer. A note from a religious advisor could help but is not required.
In either case, know that the employer does not have to simply allow you to walk around at work like you used to before the pandemic. The religious or medical exemption only means that the employer must attempt to accommodate your restriction if doing so would not create an undue hardship on the employer. If the restriction can be so accommodated, the employer must offer you the ability to work with that accommodation. If it is not possible to accommodate your restriction without creating an undue hardship, you can be terminated.
Good luck to you.
A: I agree with the others. I would note that if you are terminated you can collect uemplyment benefits, and if denied can argue it was not wilful misconduct.
As to religious exemption, there are limits. If you can't articulate the religious reason, and the "exemption" is from someone who doesn't know you, the employer could challenge that and win.
Likewise, the medical exemption needs a reason and if the doctor gives you a slip without any medical testing or history it could be challenged.
Why be a risk to yourself and others? Get the vaccine, wear an N95, protect yourself, your family, your neighbors.
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