Weinberger Law Newsletter – November 2020
“Making It” Through A Challenging Year
We made it! Who would’ve thought when we rang in 2020 that so many people would be heralding “making it” through the year as a success?
While 2020 will no doubt be remembered as a year filled with challenges, we see the year as also having been filled with gifts. We opened a new and beautiful office in North Scottsdale, expanding our footprint four-fold. We hired new staff. We added several innovations in order to communicate with and remain connected to our clients and the courts. Soon, we will be announcing an entirely new advancement that will change the way in which we deliver cost-effective and client-focused representation to small and medium-sized business. Stay tuned for details!
When one door closes, another opens – this has been our journey, and is the journey of so many others in this world. We invite you to take this voyage with us as we approach the New Year, a fresh start in 2021, and pray for peace, good health, and prosperity for all. Legal issues don’t take leave during the holidays, so please know we are here for you if we can assist with representation or mediation. Happy Thanksgiving and the start of the Holiday Season from Weinberger Law!
Can Employers Require COVID-19 Vaccination?
Pfizer and Moderna have recently confirmed that each of their two-dose vaccines for COVID-19 are in the final stages of production and showing a 90-95% effective rate. When and as the vaccines become widely available, the next steps in workplaces will surely become top of mind – chief among them, should getting the vaccination be mandated for employees?
Currently, our headquarters’ state of Arizona does not require vaccinations of adults or school children. This stance, of course, is expected to cover COVID-19 vaccinations as well, meaning individuals can choose to get this (or any) vaccination or not. When it comes to the workplace, however, unless contractually stipulated otherwise, business owners can actually mandate that employees get vaccines. Obviously, doing so would be quite controversial, but in addition, is it a wise move for employers?
Let’s look at a few scenarios below, which assume the COVID-19 vaccine is indeed required of employees.
- If there is refusal to comply with a workplace vaccination mandate, termination could be a result – a clearly unfortunate outcome for both parties and a variety of reasons.
- If the employee refuses based on any one of the legal exemptions they can call upon, he or she could have grounds to file a lawsuit against a company principal (individual), the company itself, or both.
- If an employee conforms to the required vaccination, but unfortunately suffers serious complications, workers’ compensation could be triggered, resulting in higher insurance rates and other unplanned expenses.
- Mandating the vaccine at a workplace risks decreasing employee morale. As we have seen, the simple mask suggestion and social distancing requests have caused intense debate and protests nationwide. Would a vaccine mandate do the same and create a hostile work environment, or worse yet, demonstrations and rallies that turn violent, harming people and property?
All business owners are facing very difficult questions, challenges, concerns, and moral and ethical decisions when it comes to safety in their workplace and considering whether or not they will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. There are many matters to think through before making a decision, and we know we have just scratched the surface here, especially when bearing in mind that every business is different. As the vaccine gets closer, and the possibility to severely curb the pandemic’s grip on the country becomes more of a reality, the unenviable choice may have to be made by employers and business owners.
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