Employees who were terminated from their job because of their refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 aren’t guaranteed to get their jobs back just because the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s vaccine or testing mandate.
The mandate, which required millions of employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, sparked questions about the legality of terminating employees over their vaccination status. However, in the majority of the United States, businesses can terminate employees for not complying with company policies and that doesn’t necessarily change because of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Dorit Reiss, a University of California Hastings College of Law professor, told Newsweek that unless employees can claim religious discrimination or disability-based discrimination, employers are free to terminate employees for not being vaccinated. Employment in the United States is “at-will” so employers can implement whatever policies they want within the confines of the law and the default is that if employees don’t like the policy, they can find a new job.
Given that private employers can require employees to be vaccinated, Reiss said wrongful termination lawsuits are “unlikely to succeed.”