Employees and customers may face requirement to receive COVID-19 vaccine

As the nation gets closer to a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a growing conversation about how it may be used. That includes a question of who may require you to have it.

Qantas Airlines recently announced it will require its international passengers to prove they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 before they travel.


Ticketmaster has been working on a vaccine-verification system, to let fans safely attend concerts again. It may be just the start of what's to come.

WANTAGH, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: A Health Care Worker seals a coronavirus swab after testing at the Pro Health Urgent Care coronavirus testing site on April 30, 2020 in Wantagh, New York. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a g

On a sunny afternoon, as people go about their holiday shopping along Houston's 19th Street boutique area, there's already a familiar warning to all who enter: 'No mask, No Service'. If that warning included a requirement to be vaccinated, in order to shop, many say they might think twice. "I think it would be hard to enforce,"...'I probably wouldn't shop there, if they made me take it,"..."It's needed, for sure, just to make sure everyone is safe around other people, but it does sort of border on civil liberties issues," were some of the comments offered by shoppers.


Fox 26 Senior Legal Analyst Chris Tritico says he understands where there is discomfort about the vaccine, but the law is clear.

Businesses can choose their customers, as long as they don't discriminate based on the protected classes that include race, color, sex, religion, age, or disability. Choosing people who are vaccinated, he says, is fair game.

"It's absolutely legal for someone who's in business to say 'If you want to do business with us, you have to have this vaccine," says Tritico.

Many employers can do it, too. In 'at will' states, like Texas, employees can be terminated for anything that isn't discriminatory.

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However, since a vaccine requirement would likely end up in court, Tritico doesn't think most employers would risk a lengthy, expensive battle, even though he thinks they would win.

"Having that vaccine is one of the things that we can say 'If you want to work here, I'm going to protect all of my employees from getting this virus, and to do that, you have to have the vaccine."

While this is, mostly, just conversation, the idea of requiring vaccines is not new.

Kids need them in order to attend school, for example. But a recent Gallup poll found only half of Americans would get a vaccine if it were available today.