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Chelsea Smith - How restaurants can encourage and empower employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19

June 14, 2021

SmartBrief

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Before deciding to mandate vaccines for employees, Weiner consulted with lawyers and staff members and ultimately decided that it was the right move for his company. However, the legal complications of vaccine mandates are preventing many restaurants from doing the same.

"If an employer meets the standard to mandate a vaccine, they must still allow exemptions for disability and sincerely held religious beliefs and if they don’t, they could be liable under the [Americans with Disabilities Act] or Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act],” said Chelsea Smith, a labor and employment attorney at the national law firm Hall Estill.   

She added that employers should be cautious about asking why employees didn’t get a vaccine, because “that question could be subject to the ADA and it must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Additionally, there could also be issues if an employer mandates a vaccine and the employee has an adverse reaction.” 

Rather than a mandate, Smith said “encouraging employees to get the vaccine and offering incentives is the best practice.” READ ARTICLE HERE