A. Both federal and state law require employers to accept religious and medical exemptions from vaccination mandates. NO you don't have to get the jab to keep your job.
A. NO, absolutely NOT. The law states you must have a sincerely held belief, and that belief conflicts with getting the COVID-19 shot. There are lots of exemption letter examples in Files and Docs that have been approved by employers. And others were written by attorneys.
Several States have laws or have issued Executive Orders that give additional protections:
UPDATE: Although several companies are saying Federal Law supersedes State Law in regards to the Federal Vaccine Mandate, it will be going to court.
Montana: The state determined that mandating the COVID-19 shot is a human rights violation under their state constitution. Gotta love that! I bet a lot of people will be dialing UHaul.
Arizona: The Arizona State Legislature recently amended the law to strengthen protections for employees by adding section 23-206 specifically for COVID-19 vaccines which goes into effect September 29th, 2021.
From the bill;
IF AN EMPLOYER RECEIVES NOTICE FROM AN EMPLOYEE THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PRACTICES OR OBSERVANCES PREVENT THE EMPLOYEE FROM TAKING THE COVID-19 VACCINATION, THE EMPLOYER SHALL PROVIDE A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION UNLESS THE ACCOMMODATION WOULD POSE AN UNDUE HARDSHIP AND MORE THAN A DE MINIMUS COST TO THE OPERATION OF THE EMPLOYER'S BUSINESS.
Note: SHALL means they must provide reasonable accommodation
Texas: Governor Abbot expanded the reasons for refusing the vaccination to Personal Beliefs and having already had COVID-19. That should cover every employee in the state.
Federal law under Title VII of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also protects those whose religious beliefs conflict with the COVID-19 shot.
EEOC guidance explains that the definition of religion is broad and protects beliefs, practices, and observances with which the employer may be unfamiliar. Therefore, the employer should ordinarily assume that an employee’s request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. However, if an employee requests a religious accommodation, and an employer is aware of facts that provide an objective basis for questioning either the religious nature or the sincerity of a particular belief, practice, or observance, the employer would be justified in requesting additional supporting information. See also 29 CFR 1605.
Additionally, it may be illegal for an employer to question a religious belief according to the legal opinion composed by the Liberty Council, but many employers are asking for some sort of explanation. https://lc.org/Site%20Images/Resources/ReligiousBeliefs.pd
A. Under Title VII of the EEOC, a person with a disability as recognized by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is entitled to a medical exemption. (See description HERE) This generally includes person who are pregnant during the duration of the pregnancy.
“An employee who does not get vaccinated due to a disability(covered by the ADA) or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (covered by Title VII) may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. For example, as a reasonable accommodation, an unvaccinated employee entering the workplace might wear a face mask, work at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, work a modified shift, get periodic tests for COVID-19, be given the opportunity to telework, or finally, accept a reassignment.
Employees who are not vaccinated because of pregnancy may be entitled (under Title VII) to adjustments to keep working, if the employer makes modifications or exceptions for other employees. These modifications may be the same as the accommodations made for an employee based on disability or religion.”
HOWEVER, The CDC has stated that the only medically valid reason to not be vaccinated is having an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine. Typically that is Polysorbate 80, and is very rare. Even Pregnancy was rejected as a valid reason by the CDC. (Can't smoke or drink but an experimental shot with 6 mo of testing is okay?)
It is recommended that if you file a Medical Exemption that your doctor write a note stating that you have a medical condition and the Covid shot is not recommended, but they
And also file a Religious Exemption if at all possible.
A. Not generally, if your medical condition, referred to as a disability, is recognized by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and precludes vaccination, the employer must make reasonable accommodations.
Click HERE for a an article explaining the accepted conditions.
A. Religious and Medical exemptions are still a possibility. If you learned something about the shot you didn’t know before you were jabbed that now conflicts with your beliefs, or your beliefs have changed since your first shot, then file for a religious exemption. Some examples might be
Additionally, some of the vaccine ingredients might violate your conscious. Most people have not been given informed consent and made aware of just what is in the shots because they weren't given under the EUA.
If your doctor will sign a letter stating the 2nd shot is not recommended due to your previous reaction, then you can also file for a medical exemption.
A. Are you sure? If your personal beliefs inform the way you live your life, then they may qualify even if you're not part of a recognized religion.
The EEOC has guidelines for employers HERE that outline the definition of religion.
In a California case the court found that a religion has 3 features:
Your sincerely held belief about your body and your life may actually fit the definition even though you don't have a formal religion.
But If you truly oppose the shot for no other reason but political, that it is unconstitutional, then Don’t Quit! Make them fire you.
All the attorneys we've consulted say that when you are fired, then you have a case.
For a list of employers not requiring the shots:
We hope that the class action lawsuit will protect everyone from firing regardless of your status. More info is coming so check back often.