Valencia, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: I received an email from my workplace regarding my religious exemption from the COVID 19 vaccine. I need advice

I literally received an email from my employer asking me to provide more info about my religious exemption and was told that I must respond within 3 calendar days and included a series of questions that I have to answer regarding my religious affiliation

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2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your employer has the right to evaluate your request for a religious exemption to determine if it is actually a tenet of your religion, whether it is a closely held belief and whether it is truly a religion-related objection. If you do not provide the information requested, the employer may reject your request for an exemption and it will rightfully be able to claim that you caused the interactive process to break down, relieving it of liability for failing to accommodate.

I am not sure why you would not want to provide the information sought if, in fact, your religion has a tenet preventing you from getting a vaccination and you have a true religious belief, as opposed to a position, opinion or fear.

Good luck to you.

Brad S Kane agrees with this answer

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson

A: Your employer is within their rights to follow up on your request for a religious exemption to verify that it is a truly held religious belief. You should comply with their request for more information if you wish for them to grant you an exemption to their requirement for the Covid-19 vaccine. Failure to do so could mean loss of the exemption, and in the absence of that or a Covid-19 vaccine, could mean the loss of your job. If you truly believe your employer is overstepping its boundaries in the information it is requesting, consult with an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

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