In an article recently published by D Magazine, Dallas employment lawyer Rogge Dunn answers common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace. See a recap of the article below:
What should companies do when the COVID-19 vaccine is readily available?
Dunn said employers can require employees to be vaccinated, and “if they refuse, fire them.” However, anti-discrimination laws and disability laws protect employees who refuse the vaccine because of religious beliefs or disabilities.
What are the pros and cons of employers requiring the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace?
According to Dunn, some employers believe mandatory vaccinations provide a competitive edge because they can then tell customers that their establishment is safe. On the other hand, other employers believe mandatory vaccinations could hurt morale and cause friction.
What is the risk of worker’s compensation claims for contracting COVID if the employer does–or does not–require COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace?
The risk of a worker’s compensation lawsuit is low. Firstly, if employers require vaccination and an employee has an adverse reaction, that employee can only sue the employer under the worker’s compensation program. This program, according to Dunn, “significantly limits the amount of damages an employee can recover.” On the other hand, if the employer doesn’t require vaccinations and an employee claims they caught COVID in the workplace, the employee can file a worker’s compensation claim. However, Dunn said, proving they got COVID while at work “would be difficult, if not impossible.”
How can employers keep up with COVID development without always having to consult a lawyer?
In response to this question, Dunn provided several resources for COVID-related legal guidance:
- Visit the EEOC website
- Visit the OSHA website
- Set Google alerts on COVID topics impacting employers
- Review updates from the CDC
- Review updates from the White House COVID task force
To read the full article on the D Magazine website, click here.
Rogge Dunn is a seasoned employment attorney. Furthermore, he is board certified in civil trial law and labor and employment law. To learn more about Rogge Dunn and his legal experience, click here.