FACT FINDERS: Legal rights for workers who don’t want the vaccine

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:05 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - What are your rights if you do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine but your employer is requiring it? And, how are things are changing with Pfizer’s full FDA approval?

In a private business where the vaccine is mandated, you can apply for a medical or religious exemption. However, those who don’t fall into either of those categories and simply do not want to get the shot have few options.

Attorney Jessica Post, the Fennemore Employment & Labor Practice Group Chair, says private businesses are not required to include an exemption for people who do not want to take the vaccine for personal reasons. She says the only options are to either comply or look for work elsewhere, where they are not requiring the shot.

That might make some people want to sue, but the legal grounds are shifting with Pfizer’s full approval.

”Let’s say you brought a court case and you’re challenging a vaccine mandate at a private company for example and that was one of the arguments you were making which is, ‘Hey, this only has emergency use. I shouldn’t have to get vaccinated because you’re essentially testing a vaccine on me.’ I think that argument is done now,” said Post.

What about the people who do not want to be forced to get an mRNA vaccine since that’s the only one with full approval? Are there any legal avenues for them to wait for a more traditional kind of vaccine like the Johnson and Johnson?

Post said, likely no. Although, she did say those people could have a conversation with their boss about why they want to wait for the Johnson and Johnson shot to get full approval and see if the bosses might work with them.

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