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‘Know your rights’: attorneys weigh in on employer vaccine mandates

November 8, 2021

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(WBNG) — After the Biden Administration announced a deadline for a new OSHA vaccine mandate, many people may be wondering what options they have.

President Joe Biden announced all private businesses with more than 100 employees will be required to either have their employees be vaccinated or institute weekly testing and mask-wearing for those who aren’t.

The start date for this mandate is Jan. 4.

Melanie Franco, an assistant attorney for Upstate law firm Tully Rinckey, told 12 News Friday while individual employers are free to enforce stricter regulations, employees should know their options.

“It’s important to know your rights in terms of medical accommodations and religious exemptions because those are rights under the law, and employees should know if they have serious medical conditions or their sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from getting the vaccine, they should know what their options are for getting those accommodations from their employers,” Franco said.

Franco said some counties or other public entities may also be subject to the mandate depending on state and local laws.

Additionally, Franco said she expects to see the mandate challenged in court, but said if OSHA can prove the virus still poses this level of a threat, the mandate will likely withstand legal objections.

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