Employee’s job rescinded for refusing COVID vaccine, had medical exemption



I was offered a job in writing outlining my position and pay. I accepted verbally and said that I would let my current employer know I’d be leaving. They then told me that they may implement a vaccine mandate. I replied via email that I’m not vaccinated and I have a medical exemption. They said: “Best of luck finding a position somewhere else.” Luckily I never quit my current job, but can they do that?

When I started my HR career, I never imagined that I’d have to become a vaccine expert too. I think you have a strong case to stick it to your almost-new employer if you wanted to. Essentially, you were made a job offer, you accepted and notified them that if they require all employees to be vaccinated, you have a medical condition that requires accommodation. They are obligated to consider whether or not an accommodation can be made without causing an undue burden on the business. If they didn’t do that, you would have a case to make for discrimination. If they are guilty of discrimination, your damages would be greater had you resigned your current role. Ask them why they are rescinding the offer and, based on their response, say that you need an accommodation. Then you can decide whether or not you want to pursue a claim

If a job did not obligate whether or not an accommodation can be made, one has a case to make for discrimination.
An employer must consider whether an accommodation could be made or the employee may have a discrimination case.

My son is taking all kinds of fluff classes like communication and sociology to get great grades. Isn’t his degree and transcript going to be viewed negatively when he applies for a job?
I have a masters degree in communications, pops. Who you calling “fluff”? Employers don’t look at transcripts. They look at the college and the degree and make a determination about how challenging the course work was, if they even care. Strength of college transcripts matters more for graduate school. I think you’re just worried about what kind of job he can get so that you can get him off the family payroll and he doesn’t take up residence in your basement, am I right? Help him focus on what he wants to do after college and have him work with his academic advisor to achieve that goal. And if his calling is to become a fluffy sociologist, that’s his choice.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to GoTo[email protected]. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com.


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