4/12/21

Harris Quoted in Dayton Daily News Story Titled “Your Company Can Make You Get a COVID Shot, But Many Won’t. Here’s Why.”

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Attorneys & Professionals

Bob Harris, a partner in the labor and employment group, was quoted throughout a Dayton Daily News story about whether or not employers can require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the story, employers can require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination, but many are instead seeking voluntary cooperation.

The story states:

“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made clear that employers can require vaccines as a condition of employment, said Robert Harris, a partner in the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

‘Primarily you have to make sure that you provide accommodations, if available, for folks that have disabilities or legitimate religious objections to getting the vaccine,’ he said.”

The story also states:

“’If you can’t identify a reasonable accommodation, the employer may be permitted to take an adverse employment action which, depending on the circumstances, may include termination,’ Harris said.

Employees can be required to provide documentation of the religious objection or disability. Not all medical issues constitute a disability under the law, and he said ‘a personal preference not to get it or a medical distrust of it usually doesn’t rise to the level of a religious conflict.’

‘It is a minefield,’ Harris said. ‘I think the difficulty here is less one of legality and more one of, ‘How do I implement it? How does it play out? How does my workforce react to the requirement? Am I going to lose good people? What am I prepared to do to people who I really like who don’t want to comply?’’”

To read the entire story on the Dayton Daily News website, click here.