COVID-19 Vaccine: Can Employers Require You To Get It?

Thursday, January 21st 2021, 4:31 pm
By: Mallory Thomas, News On 6

TULSA, Okla. -

Thursday, an attorney with the Oklahoma State Chamber talked with Oklahoma businesses during a virtual event about the COVID-19 vaccine and if they can make employees take the vaccine. 

Hundreds of thousands of people are already registered to get the COVID-19 vaccine and thousands have already gotten it. But, some people don't have confidence in the vaccine, saying it was developed too quickly.

Others have said vaccines go against their belief system, and others have some type of medical condition that makes them hesitant to get the vaccine. 

"We recognize there are a lot of people who are still a little bit nervous and they want to take the vaccine, but they want to wait just a little bit to see how it gets rolled out and what the adverse reactions are. They wonder what these other ones coming down the road will look like," said Courtney Warmington.

Warmington is the Vice Chair for the State Chamber Human Resources and Labor Law Committee and said because not everyone is on the same page about vaccines just yet, a lot of companies are just going to encourage employees to get it.

She said if employees have a real religious objection or a medical condition, that might be an acceptable reason not to take it but said it's not enough for employees to simply say they don't want to take it. 

"Just the 'I don't trust it, I don't like it' is not something an employer actually has to accommodate," said Warmington. " You can have discipline potentially even up to termination for someone who says I don't want to do it, I don't trust it, and I don't like it."