EXPLAINER: Employers have legal right to mandate COVID shots

Vurus Outbreak New York Vaccine
Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 18:39:52-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state of California. New York City. Hospitals and nursing homes. Colleges and universities.

Employers are beginning to put COVID-19 vaccine requirements into place and it’s getting attention. President Joe Biden says it's under consideration for all federal workers.

According to the Justice Department, individuals must be informed of their “option to accept or refuse administration” of an emergency use vaccine like the coronavirus shot. But that doesn't prohibit employers from mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment.


Workers can seek medical or religious exemptions. Employers may also go for “soft mandates” that give hesitant workers options like masking up.