Stretch Your Dollar: Can you lose your job for not getting the COVID vaccine

Jan 13 2021

As it appeared on WTNH News 8

By Laura Hutchinson

(WTNH) — Connecticut is beginning to notify people in Phase 1B who will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.

As more people get ready to roll up their sleeves, others may not want it.

News 8 is stretching your dollar with whether your employer can require you to get it.

Teachers, day care providers, grocery store workers and first responders are all in line to get the coronavirus vaccine next under Phase 1B in Connecticut.

While many are looking forward to getting the vaccine, others may not want it. But employment attorney Amanda DeMatteis said, in many cases, employers can implement a vaccine mandate, especially if you have close contact with others on the job.

“You not getting the vaccination cannot pose a direct threat to others in the workplace or others who may enter the workplace.”

But, she said there may be some exceptions to a vaccine mandate..

“If you are prohibited from getting the vaccine because of a sincerely held religious belief or because of a disability you may have, your employer needs to reasonably accommodate you after you make such a request,” DeMatteis explained.

That may mean allowing you to work unvaccinated from home or isolated in an office or with enhanced PPE. However, even that may have limitations depending on the business.

“Your employer is required to provide you that reasonable accommodation, so long as it’s not an undue hardship to their business.”

Choosing not to get the vaccine simply because you don’t want it likely won’t hold up legally if your employer mandates vaccinations, she warned. You should contact an expert, in that case, to go over your options.

DeMatteis said the guidance on COVID in the workplace comes from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and previous vaccinations.

There may be changes in the future as lawsuits start to play out in court.

More information can be found online.

Share this Post

Amanda DeMatteis News

About the Author

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

Advocating for Employees
since 1977

Best Lawyers

Let Us Review Your Case

    We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    Client Experiences

    During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

    You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

    Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

    I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

    Advocating for Employees since 1977

    American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
    Back to Top
    (203) 815-1716