Employment Contracts—Vaccination Clause?
While most employees do not sign a written employment contract, there are millions of employees subject to written agreements. Employment contracts are not just for high-level executives. Sales and marketing employees, scientists, researchers, lawyers and information technology employees often negotiate contracts.
For those of you who negotiate employment agreements, what’s the possibility of adding a paragraph about vaccinations? I haven’t seen this done yet, but can imagine a clever candidate who is not a fan of mandatory vaccinations may just ask to be excluded from any current or future employer attempts to mandate a vaccine.
The downside to asking? Well, this could really raise some eyebrows at the prospective employer, and not just because it’s unusual (at least right now). If the company is strongly suggesting employees get a shot or already has a mandate, even a request might place a job offer in jeopardy. Or, if the employer views the ask as an indication that you may be a trouble-maker, that could also be a problem.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to work for a company that will require vaccinations, how much of a risk is it to ask for an exclusion in writing?
If you do want to ask for an exclusion, here are a few thoughts:
- Definitely ask for any shot that is under an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization)
- You might want to consider any shot that has been available to the general public for less than five to ten years. It might be difficult to know the first availability date.
- If you are feeling generous, you can agree to a flu shot if you have never had an adverse effect.
Just a little creative contract thought for today.
Maybe the pen is mightier than the needle.