Comply with Complex COVID Vaccine Religious Exemption Laws

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021 1:00PM ET Length: 60 Minutes Expert: Tracy Billows, JD
Clear

Your employees have a right to request a COVID vaccine religious exemption. However, if they do, your ability to comply with government regulations just got a lot more complicated.

You do have a choice whether to accept a COVID vaccine religious exemption or not, but you must comply with very specific federal laws. Regardless of whether you chose to require your employees to get vaccinated against COVID or are complying with government or corporate mandates, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is watching. The Agency requires you to make reasonable accommodations for viable exemption requests – including religion.

Knowing exactly how to respond to an employee’s COVID vaccine religious exemption request is confusing and complicated. The good news is that there’s help available…

On Thursday, October 28th at 1pm ET, healthcare compliance attorney, Tracy Billows, JD, is presenting an online training that will walk you through the dos and don’ts of responding to employees who request a COVID vaccine religious exemption. This training explicitly targets the unique situations you face in a healthcare practice. By attending, you’ll receive actionable, expert advice to help you master these complex regulations and protect your employees, patients, and practice.

Here are just a few of the questions that you’ll get answers to during this upcoming 60-minute online training that will help you compliantly respond to employee COVID vaccine religious exemption requests:

  • Must employees submit their religious exemption request on a specific form?
  • Are you required to include religious exemptions in your practice policies?
  • What documents can you request as proof of an employee’s religious exemption request?
  • Who in your practice should make the ultimate decision whether to grant the request?
  • Is there a specific list of allowable religions?
  • Should you respond to a COVID vaccine religious exemption request in writing?
  • Should social, political, or economic beliefs be considered?
  • How can you determine if the religious belief is “sincerely held”?
  • Can you request specific documents as proof of an employee’s religious beliefs?
  • Does your employee need to prove they are actively participating in the religion?
  • What is the best way to deny a religious exemption request?
  • Can you ask how getting vaccinated for COVID conflicts with their religious beliefs?
  • If you accept a COVID vaccine religious exemption and a patient gets sick, are you liable?
  • If your employee was vaccinated for the flu, can you ask them how it is different from COVID?
  • Are you required to provide a reason for refusing a religious exception request?
  • What special accommodations must you offer to non-vaccinated staff?
  • When can special accommodations be considered an undue hardship for your practice?
  • And so much more…

The number of employees invoking religion as a reason not to be vaccinated for COVID is skyrocketing. If you grant a COVID vaccine religious exemption, you have to deal with angry patients, employees, and management. If you incorrectly refuse the request, you can be hit with an expensive lawsuit or massive government penalties. And if you end up terminating the employee, it gets even more complicated.

Don’t face the difficult decision of whether to accept or deny an employee’s COVID vaccine religious exemption request alone. The rules are too confusing, and the consequences are too high. You can get the practical, step-by-step help you need by registering for this upcoming expert-led online training. Don’t wait, sign up today.

P.S. Interest in attending this upcoming online training is exceptionally high. Accordingly, access will be limited to ensure that all attendees have the opportunity to ask their specific questions and get them answered. This training will be recorded and accessible should the live presentation date and time be inconvenient.

Meet Your Expert

Tracy Billows
JDco-Managing Partner

Tracy is the co-Managing Partner of the Chicago office’s Labor & Employment department. Her practice concentrates on representing and counseling employers throughout the country in the entire range of employment law matters. Tracy provides extensive advice and strategic guidance to clients on a wide array of Human Resources topics and issues, including policy development and review, auditing the Human Resources functions, leave and absence management, EEO compliance, reductions in force, employee relations, labor relations, performance management, discipline and discharge and various other areas, with an emphasis on instituting best practices and avoiding litigation.

Tracy relieves her clients’ day-to-day pain points related to performance management, discipline, terminations, and reductions in force, with an emphasis on compliance, business needs, and prevention of litigation. When clients have serious employee complaints, she assists with investigations—either advising in-house counsel and HR or conducting the investigation herself. She regularly trains managers, leaders, executives, HR departments, and legal teams on the full suite of labor and employment topics.