Dinsmore's James Reid: Employers May Still Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine Despite SCOTUS Decision

January 18, 2022Quotes & Mentions

In light of the United States Supreme Court declaring President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate unenforceable, Dinsmore partner James Reid spoke with MLive about how employers and human resources departments can and must respond. An excerpt is below.

While asking about vaccination upfront, or even including it in job requirements, felt intrusive to some, legally it’s been done before and will likely continue, employment attorney James Reid said.

Reid likens it to drug testing or screening social media during the application process. He also notes that private employers have the right to deny constitutional liberties like the right to bear arms if they set a workplace standard that employees cannot carry firearms while at work.

“A lot of your constitutional rights don’t apply in private employment,” he said. “Employers are able to make any policy they want that isn’t illegal.”

Employers still have the legal standing to implement some sort of COVID-19 policies, including vaccination, as long as they provide religious and medical exemptions. Reid anticipates his clients in Ann Arbor and Detroit will keep some version of the policy they prepared before the Supreme Court decision.

“A major challenge is that many employers are still having employees work remotely,” he said. “In order to get those employees to return back to work, you’re likely going to need to implement something similar to the ETS or some other masking policy to make employees feel safe.”


“We’re currently in an era where employees have more power than they have in many decades,” Reid said.

Read the full article here.