Last week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) updated its Employment Information on COVID-19 FAQs to address the issue of whether employers can mandate that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to the workplace.
Similar to the guidance provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in December 2020, the answer is yes — with some caveats. Not surprising, if an employer requires employees to get vaccinated, they must accommodate any disabilities or religious beliefs that prevent an employee from complying. DFEH notes, however, that an employer need not reasonably accommodate an employee who declines the vaccine because they do not trust it is safe.
In addition to vaccines, DFEH provides other relevant FAQs in the document, so hospitals should review it entirely.