Woman claims she lost her job after refusing COVID-19 vaccine; legal expert weighs in on employee rights

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A local woman claims she lost her job after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, so 8 News Now spoke to a legal expert Thursday to see what others should do in similar situations. 

“We didn’t say no,” the woman said of she and other colleagues that refused the shot. “We said not right now.”

She doesn’t want to share her name, but said her employer cited a mandate making the immunization a requirement. 

“There were just a lot of concerns,” she added. “But they were just not heard.”

Local healthcare attorney and partner at Spencer Fane Ayesha Mehdi told 8 News Now while most institutions aren’t implementing COVID vaccine rules so far, private companies do have this power. 

“Employers likely can mandate the vaccine,” Mehdi said. “As long as it is for the health and safety for the workplace.”

However, there are exceptions for employees, as long as they are proven and legitimate. 

“They need to make accommodations for people with disabilities,” Mehdi explained. “Or people with religious objections.”

It’s important to note that an employee will be responsible for providing proof of these medical or religious reasons for refusal. 

Therefore, for those who need to pass but are told to get the injection anyway, it’s important to know all applicable rights and make an informed decision moving forward. 

“I feel like we should all have our right to choose or not choose it,” the woman who spoke with 8 News Now concluded of the vaccine. 

Mehdi also added the importance of Nevada’s status as a right-to-work state, meaning an employer can fire someone for any reason at any time. 

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