(WSVN) - If your boss requires you to get the shot and you suffer serious side effects, is your employer responsible? Can your landlord require you to get the vaccine? Your rights in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Jasmine and her children have lived at their apartment complex for nearly three years and never had a problem.
Jasmine Irby, vaccine to renew lease: “Nobody don’t bother nobody. It’s never any complaints or anything like that.”
But then, as she was planning to renew her lease in the middle of August, she got this notice.
Jasmine Irby: “New tenants and tenants that plan on renewing their lease, they would have to show proof of documentation of the COVID vaccine.”
Jasmine didn’t expect that.
Jasmine Irby: “I could not believe it. I could not believe it. I did not know that they can even ask you, much less ask to show proof of documentation.”
Jasmine says she wears a mask wherever it’s required, but she does not want to get the COVID vaccine.
Jasmine Irby: “No, no, no absolutely not. I mean, this is supposed to be something that is optional.”
She went down to talk to the property manager to explain she didn’t believe she could be required to get the shots.
Jasmine Irby: “She brushed it off like, ‘Well, it’s a part a lease now. It’s a part of the lease, so either you are going to sign the lease or you are not.'”
Jasmine is worried that without the shot, she will be forced out of her apartment.
Jasmine Irby: “Is it legal for an apartment complex to be able to require you to show proof of documentation that they are vaccinated?”
A couple of years ago, we would never have thought we would get a question like this, so Howard, can your landlord require you to get vaccine?
Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “If you don’t have a lease, yes, they can. If you still refuse, they can legally evict you after giving you a 15-day notice. Now, if you have a lease, they cannot require the vaccine until the lease expires.”
Now, you have told us before your boss tell you to get the vaccine or you are fired, but some viewers have asked, “What happens if you get the vaccine and have serious side effects?” Is your employer liable?
Howard Finkelstein: “No, because your employer is not forcing you to get the vaccine. They are just making it a requirement to work for them. You can always say no and walk away from your job, so it’s your choice.”
Another viewer said they were told if you don’t get the vaccine, they won’t fire you, but you have to get the COVID test once a week, and you have to pay for it. Can an employer do that?
Howard Finkelstein: “Yes, they can, and here is why: employers have the right and obligation to keep their workplace safe, and unvaccinated workers make that difficult. Therefore, testing is legally reasonable under these circumstances.”
Another viewer wrote their boss wants to see their COVID vaccination card, but they said the Florida Senate passed a law prohibiting businesses from asking customers to show the vaccine card, so does mean that mean employees don’t have to show their card to their employer?
Howard Finkelstein: “No, the law covers customers, not employees. Plus, most legal experts believe the law passed by the senate will be struck down anyway because politicians cannot tell a private business who they can and cannot serve.”
The vaccine requirement is bad news for Jasmine because, right now, she doesn’t have any good options.
Jasmine Irby: “It’s looking like Umight have to move, but I don’t have the money right now to up and move.”
In every question you answered, it seems the only option people who refuse to get the vaccine have is to walk away. That’s not a great option.
That’s the point. Business owners and landlords believe the vaccine will make their places safer, and it’s why they are pushing it.
Got a problem you can’t solve? A question you can’t answer? Give us a shot. We’ll take it.
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