As a general rule, you can require your employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
OSHA has taken the position that if you make your employees get a coronavirus vaccine, then any adverse reaction to the shot by an employee is a work-related injury.
So, what happens if you have an employee that gets blood clots or even dies because of the vaccine?
Not only can you have the government breathing down your neck because of safety issues but you may find your business is a defendant in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Or at least an expensive workers compensation claim.
And that’s just the legal consequences. How do you face an injured employee or a dead worker’s family?
For now, the safer course of action is to make the vaccine optional and make accommodations for at-risk employees to work from home if possible.
If you haven’t done so recently, it’s probably a good time to have an experienced business lawyer review your employment contracts and policies to make sure you’re not at risk with regard to pandemics, epidemics, and other dangers.