Lawyer says employers can require COVID-19 vaccine

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Randy Cooper and Jimmy Pike are two Raleigh County residents. When asked if they would comply with their employer if they were forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine, both men said absolutely not.

“That would be on them because I’m not going to take it. If I have to quit, then that’s what I will do,” Pike said.

Local civil rights lawyer John Bryan said the employer would be in their right. The federal government suggested employers request employees to get the vaccine, instead of require; however, Bryan said businesses could require their employees to get the shot if they wanted to.

“Yes they generally, looks like, can require vaccinations for employees, subject to possible disabilities under the ADA, also subject to possible religious beliefs,” Bryan said.

That means Cooper and Pike may be in luck, if they are strongly against taking the vaccine because they do not trust or believe in it.

“It came out too quick and they didn’t do enough studies. I wouldn’t take it,” Cooper said.

However, Bryan said it is a slippery slope and that may require proof. A more popular way for businesses to convince their employees to get vaccinated may be to offer some sort of bonus or incentive, but even then, some people may not comply.

“I think that’s bribery, I don’t think they should do that,” Pike said.

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