Can your workplace require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Updated: Jan. 20, 2021 at 10:58 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Can your job legally require you to have the COVID-19 vaccine? Many people have wondered about this.

On Wednesday, our crews went to Big Spring Park to find out how community members feel.

“I would prefer if they gave us an option,” Jacob Gilbert said.

“I’m pretty neutral on the situation,” Natalie Abbott said.

Meanwhile, someone we asked just a few minutes later completely disagreed.

“I feel like that’s kind of overstepping because it takes away people’s right to choose. That’s not what I stand for,” Joshua Perr said.

In Alabama, Huntsville Attorney Mark McDaniel said you may not have a choice.

“Alabama is an at-will state, which means an employer can terminate someone for any reason,” McDaniel said. “Now that doesn’t cover a government or a state position, but any kind of private industry.”

McDaniel elaborated there may be some consideration for people with a religious or health reason, such as your job having you work in a role not dealing with people.

“A lot of companies are working from home now so they are not requiring it, but any time you are working in the food industry or jobs like that they could require you to get the vaccine.”

McDaniel said he feels if someone tries to fight it legally, they could be in for a long battle.

“In my opinion, if it got to the United States Supreme Court they would uphold an employers rights to require it. We go back to the precedent set in the small pox vaccines.”

Some companies are hoping incentives will do the trick.

Multiple companies including Aldi, Dollar General and Trader Joe’s are offering bonuses and extra pay for employees who opt to get the vaccine.

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