Can folks get fired for refusing to get COVID vaccine?

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – A COVID vaccine hasn’t been approved by the FDA quite yet, but when it becomes available to the entire public, not everyone is set on getting it right away or at all.

“I’ll be one of the last ones to get the vaccine when the vaccine comes out,” resident Mike Pilkington said.

You might not have a choice, if you want to keep your job.

That’s if your employer requires you to get one and you live in a fire at-will state.

“They can let you go if they don’t like what you wore on a certain day. They could fire you for any reason. That’s the state of employer, employee law in most of the southern states,” North Georgia and Tennessee Attorney McCracken Poston said.

Poston said that there are some federal discriminatory laws that protect people, but…

“I don’t think people refusing to take a vaccine would be a protected class,” he said.

“I think that everybody needs to take a step away and realize there are some employers who may decide that they want to protect their customers. They may want to put that as a promotion on their restaurant that all of our staff has been vaccinated for COVID. It’s a public health issue, really,” Poston said.

Both Georgia and Tennessee are fire at-will states.

 

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News