Can your employer require you to get COVID-19 vaccine?

Attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza explains your legal rights when it comes to your job, school and travel.
3:43 | 01/04/21

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Transcript for Can your employer require you to get COVID-19 vaccine?
Dr. Jen on her Instagram As the covid vaccine takes center stage, we're questioning our legal rights regarding vaccine mandates. So let's bring in the attorney with all the answers, ann-margaret Carrozza, thank you so much for being with us. A lot of people have this question, can employer require you to get a covid-19 vaccine? In most cases, the answer is yes. But it's important to remember that a vaccine mandate doesn't mean that someone is coming into my home to forcibly give me an injection, it simply means that an employer has the legal right and I would probably say the responsibility to take steps to keep the workplace safe and that means preventing an employee from posing a direct threat of harm to other folks in the workplace. And that certainly makes a lot of sense, Ann, but this is another question, are employers then allowed or required to let you work from home if you don't want to take the vaccine or can they legally fire you for refusing to get the vaccine? This is a big question, and it certainly would be nice for those employers who are able to accommodate work from home requests, but it's probably not mandatory on an employer to do so, especially if doing ld pose an undue hardship on the employer, so this really goes to what is the nature of the job? So if I'm a bookkeeper, I can probably easily work from home. If I'm a plumber or an electrician, I don't know what that would look like, are we phoning into our customers and talking them through the necessary repairs? So that probably wouldn't work out, and in which case an employer absolutely can fire us, so it's important to remember that employment in the united States, by and large, is at will. Meaning, we can be hired and fired for no reason, unless the reason is discriminatory. So they can't discriminate against me but they could certainly fire me if I can't come into the workplace and I don't take the vaccine. Now it's very important to remember that there are longstanding exemptions to vaccine requirements -- health and bona fide religious objections to a vaccine will be honored and this was just reinforced by the equal employment opportunity commission. Saying that those exemptions will be honored for a covid-19 vaccine mandate. Ann-margaret, we talked about mandates, but let's turn to schools now, will these mandates apply to schools and will teachers and students be required to get the vaccine? Absolutely. So a city or a municipality definitely has the legal authority to mandate vaccines for school personnel. To keep the workplace in this case it would be a school, to keep it safe and in terms of students, all 50 states and the district of Columbia right now have vaccine mandates. So adding a covid-19 mandate to the mix probably would not be a heavy lift. All right, well, that's certainly the future that we're looking actually at forward to that means life will start resuming again. Ann-margaret Carrozza, we certainly appreciate all of your legal expertise. And up next right here on

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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