Without a contract, employees’ rights are limited

Bizar Male

Can an employer demand that an employee get a vaccination? To answer that question in Idaho we must go back to 1986.

In 1986, the Republican Legislature passed the “Right to Work” law. It uses terms like freedom for employees against coercion by unions, but the real reason for the law is explicitly stated, to prevent employees from inadvertently donating to a political party that they may not agree with, i.e., Democrats.

As was its intent, this law made collective bargaining exceedingly difficult. What does this have to do with vaccinations? The job of unions is to collectively bargain employee contracts. Without a union it is extremely hard to create and bargain a contract. Which means almost everyone is working as an “at will employee.” Without a contract employees can leave whenever we want, but employers can fire us for any reason that is not illegal under federal or state law, like being fired for race or gender. Anything else is fair game. An “at will” employee can be fired for being fat, smoking, having tattoos, a “bad attitude,” whatever or nothing at all.  

So yes, if you are not covered by a contract, any employer can fire you for not getting vaccinated whether it is important to the job or not. For that, send a thank you note to the Idaho Republican Party.



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