Religious Exemption from Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

by Ricardo Barrera

News Clip Regarding Religious Exemption from Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

Channel 4 Valley Central News recently reported what would be involved in getting a religious exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

Harlingen Attorney Ricardo Barrera explains that:

“The religious exemption can’t be “I’m just making it up”. There would need to be an authenticated, good-faith religious exemption where accommodations can be made so that a person is not putting others at risk.”

and adds that:

“If somebody is, for example, in a nursing home or a hospital there may be issues in having an unvaccinated person.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires businesses to make efforts to accommodate religious beliefs of their employees, which could include not getting vaccines. 

However, employees can be fired if reasonable accommodation can’t be found. Most of the time, though, there are other options for tasks that employees can safely do. Ricardo Barrera gives some examples such as “administrative duties, case worker duties, things that don’t relate to close, intimate care for high-risk individuals.”

Attorney Ricardo Barrera sums the matter up:

“You apply for religious exemption, you may or may not get it. If they don’t have accommodation for you, you might get discharged”.

He also says that oftentimes, businesses will already have health care-related policies and encourages people who are thinking of applying for a religious exemption to review their hiring paperwork to see if their place of business has guidelines for situations like this one.

See the full news report here.

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