Are COVID vaccine mandates legal? So far, the answer is ‘yes’

The legality of mandating the COVID-19 vaccine is precisely the debate playing out on social media- as companies, municipalities, and organizations shift from asking their workers or patrons to get vaccinated- to requiring it.

Attorney Adam Mastroleo from Bond, Schoeneck, and King law firm told LocalSYR.com that there have been a few hurdles to clear.

First, concerns over a vaccine mandate violating the anti-discrimination statutes in the Americans with Disabilities Act or title seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


That was disarmed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is the federal agency with enforcing the policies. They ruled in December that mandating the COVID vaccine doesn’t violate anti-discrimination statutes as long as employers provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with medical or religious exemptions.

Second, involves mandates and the lack of full-approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To answer that, the Office of Legal Counsel for the Department of Justice recently published an opinion letter stating that vaccine mandates are considered legal even for COVID-19 vaccines with EUA approval.

The best course of action- for businesses considering a vaccine mandate- is to have a thorough written policy. That’s what Mastroleo says is the best practice for the time being.


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