“Vaccine Hesitancy” pre-dates COVID 19. Vaccine side effects, injuries, deaths have been ongoing for decades (see 1, 2, 3). Regarding the COVID shots, horrifying situations and statistics continue to be reported by the media. Recipients, including celebrities, have also been posting their experiences on social media (see 1, 2).
Nevertheless, there are companies, including Delta Airlines, that have started requiring that some if not all employees take the COVID vaccine. Of course, requiring this could make them liable if anything goes wrong.
Employers May Be Held Liable for ‘Any Adverse Reaction’ if They Mandate COVID Vaccines
New OSHA guidance holds employers liable for adverse reactions if they require employees be vaccinated for COVID as a condition of employment, which could negatively impact the employer’s safety rating.
On April 20, companies were put on notice they’ll be responsible for any adverse reaction should they require their employees be vaccinated with a COVID vaccine.
In the Frequently Asked Questions section of OSHA’s website having to do with COVID safety compliance, a question was asked whether an adverse reaction to a COVID vaccine had to be recorded if an employer mandated vaccination as a condition for employment.
“If you require your employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment (i.e., for work-related reasons), then any adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is work-related. The adverse reaction is recordable if it is a new case under 29 CFR 1904.6 and meets one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7.”
In general, an adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine is recordable if the reaction is: (1) work-related, (2) a new case and (3) meets one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g., days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid).
According to OSHA, recording requirements of serious work-related injuries and illness may leave employers with worker’s compensation claims and impact their safety record.
Conversely, OSHA states it will exercise enforcement discretion and will not require adverse reactions be recorded when an employer only “recommends” that employees receive the vaccine, while noting that for this discretion to apply, the vaccine must be truly voluntary.
In determining whether a vaccine is “voluntary,” the website states, “an employee’s choice to accept or reject the vaccine cannot affect [his or her] performance rating or professional advancement,” and that an “employee who chooses not to receive the vaccine cannot suffer any repercussions from this choice.”