Can an employer legally require employees to get the NON FDA approved covid vaccine or be terminated? Where is the legal information on this? The concern is it being non FDA approved and requiring it. State-Mississippi

  • The covid vaccine has only been approved for emergency use. Neither one is FDA approved. It's not nonsense. Some employers are telling employees they have to get the covid vaccine even though it has not been FDA approved. Emergency use does not mean it is FDA approved. A drug has to be proven safe and effective for the FDA to approve it. Employees all over are trying to find legal answers on this. – Moo246 Feb 6 at 22:27
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    This is not a request for specific legal advice, and should not be closed as such. It asks what the law permits. – David Siegel Feb 7 at 18:14
  • @DavidSiegel it could however be improved. – Trish Feb 8 at 7:15
  • @trish How do you think it should be improved? or feel free to edit. – David Siegel Feb 8 at 13:44

There are, as far as I know, no "FDA-approved" vaccines against covid in the US. The FDA has given Emergency Use Authorization to some vaccines. This does not currently include the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is impossible for a person to get the J&J vaccine in the US, because it is not authorized, and J&J does not distribute it. One could imagine an unauthorized foreign vaccine being smuggled into the US, but it would be illegal to distribute it.

I assume that you specifically mean, can a person refuse to get a vaccination on the grounds that it only has an emergency authorization and is not actually approved: and can one sue an employer for firing you because you refused to get vaccinated? In general, the employer can fire for anything they want, unless you have an employment contract that limits the grounds for termination. There are discrimination-based grounds that they cannot use, such as race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information at the federal level. Mississippi has no specific employment discrimination laws. Other that that, an employer can fire an employee for any reason, or no reason (Mississippi is what's known as an "employment at will" state). There are some state restrictions where it is prohibited for an employer to fire an employee for engaging in a specific required activity such as being called for jury duty or being called to military duty. An employer could not require an employee to break the law, but that is not applicable here.

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