Some states are beginning to require that school and nursing home employees show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. Many employers, on their own, also are evaluating what their policies will be.
There are a couple of ways an employee can be exempt from mandatory vaccines in the workplace or request a reasonable accommodation: if they have a documented medical reason or if they have sincerely held religious beliefs or practices that prevent them from being vaccinated.
An employer can request that the employee provide additional supporting information if the employer has an objective reason for questioning the religious nature or genuineness of the employee’s particular belief, practice, or observance.
Although a letter from a church generally should not be required, you may be asked by an attendee to write a letter to their employer as supporting documentation or to sign off on a religious objection to immunizations waiver form. Before you do so consider this important question: Does your church have sincerely held beliefs against vaccines or immunizations?
If the answer is yes—that your ministry does have sincerely held beliefs against vaccinations or immunizations—then your ministry can stand behind your pastor or leadership providing that supporting information.
If the answer is no, your church does not have sincerely held beliefs against vaccinations or immunizations, consider the following:
Brotherhood Mutual has developed risk management resources to assist religious organizations with commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in the context of ministry.
Posted August 2021
The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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