One could make the argument that if employers are forced by mandate to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, they could claim they are not responsible for requiring this documentation since the federal government mandated that they gather the documentation. However, there is no language in the mandate that overtly grants litigation immunity for employers. The caveat is that the mandate is very limited in scope, excluding private employers without government contracts and those employers having less than 100 employees. Since most of the country’s employers fall into one or both of these categories and are not considered under the mandate, the mandate provides no protection from litigation for most employers.
Employer vaccination requirements are not new to this country, since there have been requirements for certain vaccinations for many years, especially in healthcare settings. Through the years, vaccination requirements have spawned a small number of individual lawsuits wherein, most of the time, the employer prevailed. These lawsuits historically did not involve large classes of employees as plaintiffs. They mostly consisted of a single employee plaintiff suing the employer because they were fired for refusing a vaccine.
As the courts continue to refine and define COVID-19 vaccine mandates, employers should take steps to protect themselves, including a consultation with an attorney when implementing a vaccine mandate.
Revolution Law Group is located in Greensboro, NC, and serves individuals and small businesses throughout the Triad and surrounding areas. To contact us please visit Revolution.law or call 336-333-7907.
The information included here is for informational purposes only, is not exhaustive of all considerations when creating documents, is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be relied upon for that purpose. We strongly recommend you consult with an attorney and do not attempt to create your own documents.