Just months ago, many of us were optimistic that we would be able to return to some sense of normalcy once COVID-19 vaccines were available. Unfortunately, not enough people have been vaccinated to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
Thus, there continue to be state and federal restrictions with which we must comply. And for some Minnesotans, that could mean having to get vaccinated in order to work at specific businesses.
Employers that can require vaccinations
No law requires all employers to mandate vaccination as a condition of employment. However, there are several sectors and businesses that are choosing to make them mandatory.
Some of the businesses mandating vaccines include:
- Federal agencies
- Minnesota state agencies
- Various health care providers
- Long-term care facilities
- Colleges and universities
At many companies requiring vaccines, workers who cannot or will not get vaccinated must take regular COVID-19 tests.
In some cases, unvaccinated individuals may be prohibited from working in specific capacities. Some could face financial penalties. For instance, Delta Airlines announced that they will charge unvaccinated employees an extra $200 per month for their company-sponsored healthcare plans.
Ensuring your COVID-related policies are lawful
Whether you will require your employees to get vaccinated, take regular tests or wear masks, the policies you have regarding COVID-19 must be lawful. And these laws can change as the pandemic extends through the fall and vaccines get FDA approval.
Thus, as an employer, you would be wise to stay informed on the developments regarding state and federal guidelines for vaccine and mask mandates and revise your policies accordingly.
If you do not do this, you can leave yourself and your business open to potential legal violations, including allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment.
The ongoing pandemic has dropped people and businesses into uncharted waters, resulting in a lot of confusion and misinformation. Rather than navigate this environment alone, employers and employees can seek legal guidance when questions or concerns about employment rights arise.