Michael Futterman Quoted in NJBIZ Article about Employers Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations

Michael Futterman, Partner in the Employment Counseling group at MARC Law, provided insight in a NJBIZ article, “Vaccines at Work,” published on March 8.

Addressing employer vaccine mandates, Futterman said that he is advising clients in most industries not to mandate vaccines, but rather, given the various legal implications and numerous practical concerns, to make them voluntary and highly encouraged.

Incentivizing employees is also an option, but “a complicated area and another legal minefield,” according to Futterman. “The ADA prohibits employers from coercing employees to participate in wellness activities. It has to be fully voluntary,” he explained. “Taken to [the] extreme, can you give your employees $10,000 each to get the vaccine? No. It’s such a large amount that it’s effectively mandatory. The argument is that you’re punishing the employees that don’t participate, and you’re punishing people with disabilities or religious objections” who are lawfully prevented from receiving the vaccine. Making things more complicated, the Biden Administration recently withdrew from the Federal Registrar rules proposed by the EEOC permitting employers to provide de minimis incentives to employees, leaving employers with little guidance in a less than clear area. An alternative, Futterman suggested, “is not to make it mandatory or incentivize it at all, but to educate employees.”

Read the full article here.

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