Employment attorney Grant Osborne addressed employer-mandated vaccines in the June issue of Business North Carolina.
The article, "'The JAB, or Your JOB': Mandatory Vaccinations in the Private Workplace," details employers' rights to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination. As always, there are some caveats and Grant explains some of those stipulations. From the article:
The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") of 1990 prohibits covered employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on "disability", some of whom may claim that they have a disability that prevents them from being able to submit safely to a COVID-19 vaccination. Such a claim requires an employer to consider whether it has a duty to provide the employee or applicant with a "reasonable accommodation" of the alleged disability.
Such an accommodation – such as exemption from a vaccination requirement – can be required unless providing it would inflict "undue hardship" (i.e., significant difficulty or expense) on the employer. Employers that insist on vaccinations should therefore expect some people to assert that they suffer from a "disability" that entitles them to an exemption.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits covered employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based (in part) on "religion." Religion in this context means sincerely held religious beliefs and practices, whether part of an "organized" religion (e.g., Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity) or some other sincere system of spiritual belief. It includes atheism too, but not mere political or personal beliefs or preferences, such as objections to vaccinations unmoored to religious faith; or, for an odd but real example, a “personal religious creed that Kozy Kitten People/Cat Food" contributes to an employee's "state of wellbeing."