Most religious exemptions for mandatory vaccines will fail – WSOC TV
CHARLOTTE – More and more businesses and governments are requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In fact, on Wednesday, President Joe Biden virtually met with CEOs of companies that need the vaccine such as United Airlines, Kaiser Permanente and a small business owner in South Carolina. The president encourages more companies to do the same.
But as more companies impose this requirement, some people are looking for a way to avoid getting the vaccine, including trying to get a religious exemption. Ken Lemon of Channel 9 spoke to a lawyer who expects employers to oppose this type of exemption.
Labor lawyer Josh Van Kamp normally fights for employee rights against their employers. But Channel 9 showed him a social media post from a member of Freedom House Church, which has several churches in the Charlotte area, advising members of a religious exemption form available to them for mandatory vaccinations. against COVID-19.
The post said if you are a member, “we will write a religious exemption for you,” and advises that if your pastor refuses to do the same, then “find a new church.”
A post from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dilworth did not offer to write a letter but directed followers to a link with a sample letter created by a group called the National Catholic Bioethics Center.
Van Kamp said he believes these letters will fail 99% of the time.
“You better prepare to save it,” he said.
Van Kamp said employers can fight religious exemption letters because if an unvaccinated person infects a coworker, the company can be held accountable.
“I would be more concerned about employees suing me for having an unsafe workplace,” he said. “It can’t just be a personal belief. It should be based specifically on the teachings of that person’s church.
He said if members of your faith have been vaccinated or supported the vaccination – like the Pope – then that may also undermine your claim. Also, if you have been vaccinated against the flu, you are unlikely to be able to morally object to a COVID vaccination.
He said, more importantly, that companies cannot put workers at risk.
“They have a duty to protect workers from recognized dangers and COVID-19 is a recognized danger. It can kill you, ”he said.
On Wednesday, the Catholic Diocese announced that the Pope had been vaccinated and that church leaders were supporting the vaccination. They said that the group that published this model letter is addressed to believers, but that they are not directly part of the ministry.
(WATCH: CDC recommends wearing masks in schools regardless of immunization status)
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