This article was updated on September 22, 2021.
U.S. workplaces have been upended by the pandemic — and that may be an understatement given the recent Delta variant outbreak. The biggest debate, however, are among workers and their employers over vaccine mandates.
Typically, employers can require certain health measures if they apply equally to all employees. They allow exceptions as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act and those with religious objections.
Earlier in 2021, different vaccine variations faced criticism from the public as they lacked FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. However, this changed when Pfizer received approval in August. President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate also shakes up the debate. Under this new mandate, all federal businesses with 100 or more employees are expected to require vaccinations. if employees refuse the vaccine, they will be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.
This law looks to have a bumpy road ahead. Oklahoma lawmakers, such as Governor Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, have come out fiercely against federal vaccine mandates. Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor has already planned to litigate the measure.
Of course, because Oklahoma is an at-will state, employers can terminate almost anybody at almost any time without giving a reason. Unfortunately, that means workers who buck the system may find themselves without a job regardless.
At Johnson & Biscone, we will always fight for people when their bosses try to force them to do things that don’t make sense medically or that violate workers’ rights. If you think your company is going beyond what the law allows, give us a call at 405-232-6490. We would be glad to help you defend yourself.