Sacramento, CA asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: I’m a federal employee and going to refuse the vaccine mandate. If fired, will this violate laws meant to protect me?

Vaccine presidential mandate.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Maya L. Serkova
Maya L. Serkova
Answered
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Mandatory workplace COVID – 19 Vaccinations are lawful with some exceptions based on disability and religion. If you are not eligible for those exemptions and still chose to refuse to get a vaccine, your employer will be within its right to terminate you and you will not have recourse.

Sincerely,

Maya L. Serkova

Niran Grimberg and Louis George Fazzi agree with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Niran Grimberg
Niran Grimberg
Answered
  • Valley Village, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Federal law states that if an employee does not want to get vaccinated (must be for religious exemption or due to disability), they will be subject to weekly testing. Therefore, if you are not going to get the vaccine, you will be subject to weekly testing. Vaccination status is not a protected category when it comes to unlawful harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.

1 user found this answer helpful

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Mandatory vaccination is lawful. It has been since 1905 when the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. That decision, although old, has been cited to over 800 times and recently by our US Supreme court in the last two years. You will have no recourse if you refuse to be vaccinated unless you can establish that either (1) you have a medical condition that prevents you from being vaccinated (which should be established with a doctor's note, or (2) you genuinely have a closely held religious belief that prevents you from getting the vaccination.

Even if you establish one of these two exceptions, you do not get to simply walk around in the workplace as if there was no pandemic. Establishing either of these exceptions simply means that the employer and you have to interactively try to determine how you can perform the essential functions of your job while still protecting the interests the employer had in protecting its workforce and the public. If there is no way to do that, you can still be terminated.

Good luck to you.

Louis George Fazzi agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

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