Why is it so hard to get a religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccine mandates?
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Religious exemptions is a term that’s been circulating the workplace when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.
But many people are confused as to what qualifies as a valid religious exemption, and what does not.
For example, the Catholic Church is supportive of vaccine, but as a Catholic, you can still make a valid request for a religious exemption. But, you are not guaranteed to be granted the request – they have an obligation to consider it in the context of your job duties, their industry, and other factors.
An employee working remotely full-time can easily be accommodated because they are not directly interacting with other employees or third parties.
But a restaurant manager who regularly deals with food safety, serving food/drinks, interacting with guests and employees will likely not be accommodated.
An employee working in a manufacturing facility can’t work remotely and will interact with other employees, but social distancing, face covering, and regular testing SHOULD be enough to accommodate the request.
Employment Attorney Annie Ellis explained that not every situation is this simple, but many companies are restructuring jobs and even adjusting compensation to account for the accommodations.
Ellis discussed the issue of religious exemptions on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego.