New Jersey employees could be returning to the office sooner rather than later as vaccination efforts ramp up. The big question on most people’s minds before they return is; Can your employer force you to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning?
The answer: yes.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), New Jersey employers have an obligation to ensure their workplace is a safe and healthy work environment, and requiring employees to be vaccinated may be necessary to meet that obligation. That is, an employer’s requirement that you show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work would be permitted.
However, some employees may be exempted from mandatory vaccinations based on potential concerns related to a disability or for religious beliefs that prohibit vaccinations. Managers and supervisors responsible for communicating with employees about compliance with the employer’s vaccination requirement should know how to recognize an accommodation request from an employee with a disability or religious objection and know to whom the request should be referred for consideration.
If you an employee under this umbrella, request a reasonable accommodation from your employer. Upon receiving such a request, employers should engage in a flexible, interactive process to identify reasonable workplace accommodation options for their employees.
For help with any employment law questions contact our office. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case.