DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado lawyers say they expect more employers to issue vaccination warrants after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Christine Samsel is a shareholder of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck specializing in employment law. She wrote a client alert on the issue, saying the FDA approval removed a significant legal hurdle, but that there are still legal landmines for employers who implement vaccination mandates.
“For example, there are certain accommodations required by law, medical conditions, disabilities, sincere religious beliefs among them that employers are going to have to accommodate, and that could create, especially for large employers, that could create kind of an administrative nightmare while they process these requests, ”Samsel said.
In addition, there will be employees who will not have exemptions, but would rather be fired than be shot. Samsel says it is not clear at this time whether these people would qualify for unemployment benefits.
“The level of misconduct has to increase to a degree large enough to disqualify someone from unemployment,” Samsel said.
“If, for example, in the city and county of Denver there is a warrant of vaccination for certain employees, I could see that an employee refusing to obtain one without a valid exemption could potentially be disqualifying given that” this is a legal requirement, ”she said.
Another problem to consider is that of booster injections. The full FDA approval did not include the booster injections, so there could be legal challenges to a mandate requiring them.
Samsel says she advises clients to look at their workforce to see what percentage is already vaccinated.
“The first question for employers is simply because we can impose the vaccine, right? ” she said.
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