Can You Be Fired in Louisiana for Refusing the COVID-19 Vaccine?
As news breaks everyday with new information about COVID-19 vaccines and when a vaccine might be made available to the public, many are unsure as to whether or not they want to get it. One of the big questions is, can you be fired in Louisiana if you choose to not get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Obviously, employee rights laws vary state to state and include certain exceptions for employees with disabilities and religious beliefs, offering protection under federal law.
Then there's the matter of different workplace policies. These will vary somewhat depending on the company and profession. For example, daycare centers, schools and health care facilities will more than likely have different work place policies concerning vaccinations than places like car dealerships, retail stores and cabinet shops.
By law, some workplaces and professions can mandate certain inoculations
From phelps.com -
"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that enforces an employer’s duty to maintain a hazard-free workplace, allowed employers to mandate inoculations during the 2009 swine flu."
The COVID-19 pandemic checks all of the boxes of the Americans with Disabilities Act “direct threat” standard under the CDC's definition. By being defined as a "direct threat" employers have legally been able to implement safety policies like temperature check s and ask certain health questions pertaining to the pandemic
That's all good information and all, but what about Louisiana's labor laws, employee rights, and your option to not receive a COVID-19 vaccination without penalty of losing your job?
In Louisiana, your employer can indeed legally require you to get a COVID-19 vaccination shot, and according to Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino, your employer can fire you for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ciolino tells louisianaradionetwork.com -
"An at-will employee can be fired if he or she does not comply with an employer’s mandate that they obtain a vaccine to COVID."
Professor Ciolino goes on to say that employees are protected under applicable state and federal laws as discussed above if the decision is made to not get the vaccine. An employee may also cite a "legitimate medical reason for not obtaining the vaccine. The employer would likely have to give that employee a reasonable accommodation.”
Read more of the interview with Professor Ciolino at louisianaradionetwork.com.
Learn more about Louisiana vaccinations including COVID-19 over at ldh.la.gov. The Louisiana Department of Health will continuously up the information as it becomes available.
You can find even more helpful information about state laws about vaccination mandates is immunize.org.