John McDonald Discusses Employer Vaccination Mandates With Bloomberg Law

May 6, 2021

John McDonald, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Charlotte office, was quoted in a May 5, 2021, Bloomberg Law article titled “No Vaccine, No Desk: Firms Weigh Whether to Make Shots Mandatory.” The article discussed whether companies may require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure workplace safety.

The issue is complicated, as some workers are reluctant to receive COVID-19 vaccines. But according to December 2020 guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers can require vaccinations with certain medical and religious exemptions.

McDonald, who practices labor and employment law, noted a surge of interest in mandates after the guidance was released. However, he said, that interest has waned due to the challenges of implementing and enforcing such a mandate, pending state legislation to prohibit or limit employer vaccine policies, and patients’ rights to refuse vaccination under the emergency authorization for the three COVID-19 vaccines.

“With clients I’m seeing, it’s a combination of those three things that’s stopping them from making it a mandatory policy,” McDonald said.