COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

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What if an employee objects to receiving the COVID-19 vaccination because of a sincerely held religious belief or practice?

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According to the EEOC, if an employee objects to receiving the vaccine because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless those accommodations would pose an undue hardship under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. A reasonable accommodation generally includes any "modification or adjustment to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable[s] an individual with a disability who is qualified to perform the essential functions of that position.” (29 C.F.R. §1630.2(o).) The EEOC has stated that reasonable accommodations may include telework or modifying an employee's work schedule to reduce exposure to others in the workplace.

EEOC guidance states that if "an employee requests a religious accommodation, and an employer has 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." Notably, federal courts have held that social, political, and a general "anti-vaccination" viewpoint are not protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, employers should consider cases individually, and consult with legal counsel when appropriate.

If an employee cannot get vaccinated because of a sincerely held religious belief or practice, and there are no available reasonable accommodations, then it is legally permissible for the employer to exclude the employer from the workplace. However, the employer cannot terminate automatically the employer without first considering if other rights apply under the EEO laws or other federal, state and local authorities.

| Categories: Labor and Personnel, Vaccine | Return

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