Companies can require employees to get vaccinated, federal agency says

Memphis, Tenn. — UofM law professor Steve Mulroy said companies have every right to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“While it’s true that the government has said that you can’t discriminate on the basis of race, or color or gender, there’s no law that says that a company can’t require vaccination,” Mulroy said.

According to Mulroy, the only way an employee could get around this if they provide proof that there’s a health concern with the COVID shot.

“This is not without precedent,” Baptist Medical Group’s Dr. Mark Castellaw said. “A lot of health care facilities long before the pandemic ever happened they would require employees to have a flu shot.”

Dr. Castellaw said although the numbers are going down, companies should still encourage employees to get the shot.

“The numbers are trending down but just last week I saw in the office two new patients with COVID,” Castellaw said. “So even though the numbers are going down, it’s still here. I think companies ought to encourage employees to get the vaccine.”

For some employees, they may not have a choice.

Mulroy said from his experience, he doesn’t see a company losing in court should an employee file a lawsuit.

“If they make it a rule and they say it’s a fireable offense,” Mulroy said. “If somebody violates that rule, then they can fire them for it.”