BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Employment attorneys in Baton Rouge say they are constantly getting calls and emails from people asking whether companies can require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are an at-will state, like most states. So, an employer can pretty much mandate whatever he wants,” said attorney Gregory Miller.
Because of the surging delta variant, hospitals and other businesses are planning to make the shot mandatory once FDA-approved. There are only two exceptions where employees can opt-out.
“One would be a bonified religious belief where your religion doesn’t permit shots or other medical treatment. The other if you have a certain disability and you can get a medical excuse from your doctor saying that you would be high risk for the vaccine,” said Miller.
If those reasons do not apply to you, attorneys say there’s really nothing you can do when you’re an at-will employee.
“If you don’t like it, then you can leave your employment and go seek employment elsewhere,” said Miller.
Workers in Texas filed a lawsuit against their hospital requiring the vaccine. Their case was thrown out, and they are appealing that ruling.
Attorneys say it’s very unlikely workers in Louisiana would win a similar case.
Ochsner, the largest health system in the state, says all employees will be required to get the vaccine once it’s FDA-approved.