Forced vaccination may be on the table as the issue remains unclear

With news of vaccine distribution underway, some workers are wondering whether their employer can require them to take a vaccine in order to work.

Joyce Goldstein and Associates Labor Lawyer Joyce Goldstein discussed a So-Called “Right to Work” case in Boston and what employers can do regarding the COVID-19 vaccine on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

UNITE HERE! attempts to organize Boston hotel workers

A hotel in Boston has declared neutrality as the employees begin the process of organizing with UNITE HERE! Members of UNITE HERE! are casino workers, hotel maids, manufacturing workers, textile workers and more.

While the hotel has declared neutrality, various So-Called “Right to Work” groups have swooped in and are trying to make the case that declaring neutrality in the organizing campaign is actually providing illegal corporate aid to unions.

While National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb has taken up the case for prosecution, Goldstein believes the case will take time to resolve.

Forced vaccination

While the COVID-19 vaccines are gaining emergency approval, some workers are wondering if they can be forced to take the vaccine.

Goldstein said the line is blurry for both union and non-union workers. While non-union workers are at-will employees in many states, they can be terminated for any reason.

It is more difficult for union members to be fired for not being vaccinated. If the worker is remote and has no way of infecting other workers, she believes they will not be terminated. However, if they work in a populated workspace, such as a hospital, it is possible they will need to be vaccinated.

The line remains difficult to draw, as emergency approval, religious freedoms and more stand in the way of compelled vaccination.


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