a nurse preparing a vaccine

Can Federal Workers Get Fired for Refusing Vaccination?

Both employers and government officials have set strict mandates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. However, many federal workers oppose these new regulations because it makes it difficult to uphold personal beliefs in the workplace. If you are a federal employee who doesn’t want to follow the mandates requiring you to take the COVID-19 vaccination, you might be wondering if it could cost you your job.

Can I Get Fired?

In some cases, federal employees can be terminated for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In September 2021, the Biden administration issued a mandate for all federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Washington Post, “most of the 2.1 million federal employees must receive the last dose of their vaccine no later than Nov. 8 to meet a Nov. 22 deadline to be fully vaccinated.”

Even teleworking employees must show proof of vaccination electronically. New hires scheduled to start working after November 22nd must also show proof of vaccination. Employees who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks in the office and comply with work travel restrictions.

Exemptions to the COVID-19 Vaccination

Although federal employers can mandate and require employers to be fully vaccinated, they must make exceptions under certain circumstances. Employers must provide fed workers with reasonable accommodations – whether it’s due to medical issues, pregnancy-related conditions, or religious beliefs.

Disability Accommodation

When a federal employee refuses to take the COVID-19 vaccine, it is the employer’s responsibility to assess the worker’s condition to determine if they qualify for reasonable accommodation. If an employee who cannot be vaccinated poses a direct threat to the workplace, the employer must consider providing them with reasonable accommodation. For example, the employer can allow the disabled employee to work remotely to eliminate the risk of exposing other workers to COVID-19.

If you don’t want to take the COVID-19 vaccination, you may be exempt if you qualify under one of the categories listed above. Get in touch with our federal employment law attorneys today at (888) 898-9902 to learn more about your options!

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