COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning to be administered to frontline health workers and those in long-term care facilities in the U.S.
It’s not yet known to whom the vaccines will be made available in the second round, but the Washington Post reports that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will consider essential workers as a priority group in upcoming rounds.
When vaccines are made available to those in the construction and related industries, can companies legally require their employees to take the vaccine?
To provide some answers, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America hosted a webinar titled, “Sticking Points: What Construction Employers Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines and Flu Shots,” with insights from two lawyers, Kevin Troutman and Bert Brannen, who are both partners at Fisher Phillips.
Troutman prefaced the discussion by stating that they were talking primarily about federal law.
He advised attendees to consult their state and local laws, as there may be provisions that limit federal law.
He also explained that they expect guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and OSHA soon.
Ultimately, Troutman and Brannen believe that contractors can require the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
Many companies in healthcare have flu shot requirements.
However, there are two common allowable exemptions: medical reasons or a sincerely-held religious belief.
Some states allow other exemptions. For a full list of all 50 state’s vaccine...