August 17, 2021 By Wallin & Klarich

With New Exceptions, Employers Can Mandate That Employees Get Vaccinated

With an increased presence of the delta variant of covid-19 sweeping across the nation, institutions are being forced to make tough decisions when it

comes to the vaccine. Many colleges, like California state schools, are requiring vaccines to attend on-campus classes and live in on-campus housing. This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that public employees, along with on-site private or public health care workers will need to be vaccinated against the looming virus; a policy that is thought to go federal this Thursday, with president Joe Biden calling for action. 


If You Do Not Want To Get Vaccinated, There Are Other Options

  • Weekly covid screening. 
  • Autoimmune disease or high-risk of facing adverse consequences from the vaccine
  • Religious exemption


Weekly Screenings

When it comes to the California higher-education system, along with many businesses in the private sector, you can opt-in for weekly covid-testing if you do not wish to get vaccinated. Although this is a current option, how long this will be on the table is unclear, as businesses are being hindered by the cost

 required to allocate time/resources to administer and manage the weekly testings. In many instances, we are seeing a common push towards universal vaccination in the workplace, which is a far cheaper and safer option for many institutions. If the FDA officially approves the vaccine, however, we predict a unilateral push in the direction of universal vaccination in the public sphere.


Autoimmune disease or high-risk of facing adverse consequences from the vaccine

If you or a loved one suffer from a preexisting autoimmune disease or face a high risk of having adverse side effects from the vaccine, you may be able to side-step the vaccine in the workplace or other institutions by getting tested weekly and abiding by other safety protocols set in place by the institution. 

Due to the relative safety of the vaccine, however, you may still be forced to get vaccinated if you wish to participate in the public domain. If your medical needs are great enough, you may be protected by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, or Title VII, and should consult with a doctor and attorney in order to determine your status. 

Religious Exemption

A religious exemption is a common justification being utilized by those who wish to dodge the vaccine. As vaccines are beginning to be required, there is a spike in lawsuits that claim religious exemption from the vaccine, which commonly utilizes stem-cell methodology to culture the vaccine. 

covid 19 vaccines California mandates vaccine for public employees

One issue with this, however, is that claiming a religious exemption from the vaccine heavily resembles the employment discrimination case, Friedman v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, 102 Cal App. 4th 39 (2002), which held that veganism is not a religious belief. In this case, the plaintiff Friedman, who applied for a job at a pharmaceutical warehouse, was required to get the mumps vaccine. Friedman refused to get the vaccine on the grounds that it was cultivated using chicken embryos and infringed on his beliefs as a vegan. The court ruled that veganism is a way of life and not a religious belief, thus Friedman justly must get the vaccine in order to work at the warehouse. 


Similar to those who claim religious exemption from the vaccine, the issue lies in the fact that vaccines do not fall under the scope of religion. The Pope has not come out against the vaccine, the Bible does not mention vaccines, nor any other religious text. The belief that vaccines infringe upon any held religious belief is a post-hoc belief derived from an individual’s beliefs, not the specific rules of any religion. 


How A Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You  

If you have any questions regarding the current policies surrounding covid-19 and/or how vaccine mandates relate to your rights in the workplace, contact us today. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience and stay up to date with the latest changes in California law.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyer available to help you no matter where you work or live. 

Call our offices today at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call. 


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