Accommodation and vaccination: Can you refuse a required vaccination?

The Supreme Court in Queens claims “forcing employees to get the COVID-19” vaccination is in violation of state and city law. However, it is important to note that this ruling acknowledges that the right to refuse vaccination is only protected for specific reasons.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance issued late last month, employers must provide “reasonable accommodations” for workers who refuse the shots due to a disability or pregnancy or for religious reasons.

What events led up to the court’s ruling?

The ruling comes after a man from the Bronx was placed on unpaid leave from a catering company he worked for after he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination. 

On May 28th, Antonio Coronado was furloughed from the catering company Great Performances after he informed his company that he would not be getting his COVID vaccination after being told that it was mandatory for all employees. As a result, the company responded by placing Coronado on indefinite unpaid leave until he complied with the mandate. 

Previously, Great Performances was testing each employee twice a week and testing their temperatures every day. Coronado had said he was fine with being tested and doing the temperature checks each day, but that the vaccination went too far, and it violated his religious beliefs. 

An attorney representing Coronado explained that the Great Performances catering company was “forcing him (Coronado) to disregard his religious and ethical convictions and safety concerns”. The Queens Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Coronado protecting his religious freedom.

What can you do if you’re a victim of employment discrimination?

If you feel you are being unfairly targeted by an employer for refusing to get the vaccination due to pregnancy, disability, or religious beliefs, you should protect yourself legally and seek just compensation immediately. 

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