Bonnie Jacobson, who did work at the Red Hook Tavern in Brooklyn until last week, has been fired for not taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

One of her managers asked her if she was planning on getting the vaccine since it was now being offered to restaurant and bar employees in New York. According to New York News 4 she said, "I'm not going to do it quite yet. I do have my reservations about it, I need to talk to a doctor, just see how I feel." Well, apparently what she said didn't sit too well with the managers at the Red Hook Tavern because she was fired by email a few days later.

She received an email informing her that the new policy at the Red Hook Tavern was that all employees had to be vaccinated and it was a mandatory part of her employment. Jacobson said that wasn't the policy a week ago, but it suddenly changed without warning.

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So, is it legal to fire an employee for refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccination?  The short answer is, "yes". According to Fox59, “If a business instituted a uniformly enforced rule: if you want to work here, you’re vaccinated, and if you refuse, there’s going to be a reaction,” said John Haskin, founding partner of the Employment Law Office of John H. Haskin & Associates, LLC in Indianapolis. “Whether or not that reaction is sustainable in court is something we have to see.”

So it might technically be legal to fire someone for not getting the vaccine, but it's still a crappy thing to do, especially by email like in the case of the Red Hook Tavern. It just seems especially harsh given everything that restaurant and bar employees have been through in the last year of the pandemic. Who knows maybe they could serve up a little compassion for their coworkers at the Red Hook Tavern.

I discussed this with my brother, who is a lawyer, and there are a lot of places that could require proof of vaccination, like concerts, schools, employers, amusement parks...etc. I don't think we will get to a point where there are mandatory vaccinations, but I do think we will get to a point where being vaccinated will be a condition of employment or admittance.

 

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