COVID-19: Can I Sue for Vaccination Discrimination?

a woman working and wearing a mask

Now that COVID-19 vaccinations are available, more and more vaccinated workers are returning to the office, while unvaccinated workers are asked to work from home. This unknown territory comes with many challenges – one of which is vaccination discrimination.

What Is Vaccination Discrimination?

Discriminatory behavior is becoming more and more common, especially regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Suppose an employer assigns Jessica, who refused to take the vaccination, to stay home and perform administrative tasks, while they assign David to attend an out-of-town client meeting that makes his career. This situation made Jessica feel that she was treated unfairly and discriminated against because she didn’t take the vaccination. In this case, could Jessica file a claim against her employer?

Unfortunately, at the moment, vaccination status is not a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination laws. However, employees may remain unvaccinated for reasons that are legally protected, such as religion, pregnancy, or disability status.

Vaccination Discrimination Under a Protected Class

However, an employee can file a claim against their employer for vaccination discrimination if they didn’t get vaccinated for a legally protected reason (such as the reasons mentioned above). When an employee has a legally protected reason for not taking the vaccination, they cannot be treated less fairly than other employees who were able to get the vaccine.

How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Claim?

Dealing with new laws and regulations regarding COVID-19 can be complicated and overwhelming. If you didn’t get a COVID-19 vaccination because of one of the protected classes listed above, and you are being treated unfairly in your place of work, you may have a valid claim. Contact our California employment law attorneys to learn more about your rights and your options.

Get in touch with us today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a confidential consultation!