Think Mid Michigan Employers Can’t Mandate The Covid-19 Vaccine? Think Again
They can't make me.
They can't do that.
It should be my choice.
If they try and make me, that's discrimination.
They can't fire me because I won't get vaccinated.
You sure about all that?
Let's take a look at whether your workplace can tell you to get a vaccine or hit the bricks if you don't.
Remember Michigan is an at will state.
We were just talking about this fact in an article last week.
Let's remember a couple of things about the state of Michigan. It is an "at will" state. What does that mean?
In general, an employer can discharge an employee for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. An employee may challenge his/her discharge if it was based on discriminatory action specifically protected by statute. (michigan.gov)
Read More: Fired For Smoking Weed? MI AG Says You Should Still Get...
That "at will" part is the crux of the argument.
“We live in a world of the at-will real employee,” said Nicholas Bagley, a constitutional law attorney and professor at the University of Michigan. “When your employer asks you to do something, it can. It has the right to do so. And you have the right to walk away from that relationship.” (bridgemi)
Don't like the U of M answer? Michigan State professors back it up too.
Michigan State University Associate Professor for the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations Stacy Hickox tells us employers have every right to mandate the vaccine.
“Employers can require the vaccine. The main justification is the safety of the customers, the clients, and the other workers,” said Hickox. (WILX)
There are two more key points Hickox stated that I think also bear repeating.
- Businesses aren’t required to mandate vaccines. But, it’s actually illegal for them not to do something to protect their employees.
- Employers are legally obligated to make accommodations for those who are not able to get the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons. (WILX)
And by making accommodations, they mean like making it so you can work from home.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Your employer is within their legal rights to require you to take the Covid-19 vaccine. If you refuse, you could be fired.
And yes, state legislators are already chomping at the bit.
A bill making its way through the Michigan House of Representatives would ban businesses from asking workers their vaccination status, and prevent businesses from imposing different rules, such as mask requirements for unvaccinated workers. The proposal would apply to all vaccines, including annual flu shots. (WILX)
Now I would like to point out how back in the day, there was the whole thing about the bakery that didn't want to bake a "gay cake". And the arguments that folks made for that were, "you can't force a private business to do something", "shop somewhere else", "the government can't dictate to someone how to run their business".
Do those arguments still apply or is that NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL?
Asking for a friend.