As the COVID-19 vaccine is arriving in the Rockford region, you should know some important facts about how it an affect your workplace.
Rockford area employment lawyers recently shared some important information about what your employer can and can't do, when it comes to re-opening their doors and allowing employees to return.

While legally, there is a lot of gray area, there is one thing you should know right away. Your employer can fire you if you refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The state of Illinois is what's called an 'at-will' state. What that means is that unless you are working under a contract an employer has the right to let you, or any employee, go for any reason. All the supervisor would need to say is that the safety of the workplace is compromised because you refused to get the vaccine.

If you're wondering whether there are any exceptions, there are. If you have a disability or you can’t be immunized due to a pre-existing condition or allergy, you cannot be forced to get the vaccination or be punished for not doing so.

Lastly, the attorneys were asked if there are differences in consequences for private versus public employers. The lawyers stated that it depends. While public employees have constitutional protections, like the 14th Amendment that gives workers the chance to fight back against an unjust firing, at-will private employees can’t be forced to do anything that may violate their civil rights.


Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.

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