Courts uphold the firing of vaccine refusers.

At press time, OSHA was expected to soon unveil its nationwide rule requiring employers with 100 or more workers to mandate employee COVID vaccinations. But many employers didn't wait for OSHA.

President Biden's announcement in early September that this mandate was coming gave companies of all sizes the cover to establish their own vaccine mandates. Some are offering weekly COVID testing as an alternative. Others are setting strict vax-or-be-fired edicts, while allowing for religious or medical exemption requests. (See page 7 and 8 for more details.)

Examples: Novant Health fired 175 hospital workers who didn't get the shot by an early October deadline. When Southwest Airlines didn't get enough shots in arms by offering two extra days of pay as an incentive, it decided to start firing noncompliers after Dec. 8.

For employers, the good news is that vaccine-resistant workers haven't been able to stop these mandates. In a key test case last month, a federal court said employer vaccine mandates are legal, as long as you allow for proper religious/medical exceptions. (Beckerich v. St. Elizabeth)

In that ruling, the judge said that if a vaccine resister "believes his or her individual liberties are more important than legally permissible conditions on his or her employment, that employee can and should choose to exercise another individual...

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