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Can My Employer Fire Me For Refusing The COVID Vaccination?

Nov. 24, 2021

Yes, but certain exceptions can lead to wrongful termination if they are violated. Illinois is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer can terminate your employment for any reason and at any time.

When You Can and Cannot Be Fired For Getting A Covid-19 Vaccine

However, said reason cannot violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against their workforce based on their sex, color, race, religion, or national origin. (If you were fired because of any of those reasons, you should hire an employment law attorney in Chicago and file a claim to get the compensation you deserve).

Since refusal to get the vaccine does not fall within this protection or other employment laws, your employer can fire you if your refusal violates a work policy. However, there are some circumstances under which you can refuse to get vaccinated and still keep your job:

  • If you think that the vaccine violates a religious belief, practice, or observance.

  • If you have a serious medical condition that can worsen because of the vaccine. Check out the Americans with Disabilities Act for more information.

In either of these cases, your employer has to provide reasonable accommodations as long as doing so does not strain business operations. This can include regular tests, allowing you to work from home or remotely, changing your shifts to reduce potential infections or reassignment.

If you are part of a union, your employer may have to bargain with them before mandating a vaccine.

What You Can Do If Your Employer Is Forcing You to Get Vaccinated

If you do not want to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of the aforementioned protected issues and your employer will fire you if you don’t, you should discuss your options with an employment law attorney in Chicago.

Lawyers who are experienced and proficient in state and federal law can help you determine if you have a valid case or not. If your religious or medical reasons are valid, you can file a claim and get compensated for sustained damages (such as job loss and emotional turmoil).

If you have a solid case, your lawyer can help you communicate the fact to your employer in a way that can increase the likelihood of you keeping your job. If your request is denied, on the other hand, you can and should sue.

Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith and Associates

A lawyer from the Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates can help you figure out the options you have at your disposal. As an employee, you should be able to go to work each day without fearing harassment or potential job loss.

If you think you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, we urge you to pursue justice with our help. We have been representing employees who have been discriminated against and have been doing so for years. So we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today before it is too late.