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Legal Update: How to Handle Religious Vaccine Objections
Tread lightly when skeptical of a staff member’s exemption request.
Casey Duhart, BS, M.Ed., JD
Mandate
TO BE DETERMINED Surgical leaders might need to rule on individual exemptions once the smoke clears from legal challenges to vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.   |   Northwell Health
Surgical facilities across the country are in a holding pattern as court injunctions have temporarily blocked federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates for about half of the nation’s healthcare workers. While everyone tries to read the tea leaves as we watch governments and courts create new regulations as they go along, facilities must be prepared to act when the time comes to review what will likely be a record number of employee exemption requests based on “sincerely held religious beliefs,” the language used in anti-discrimination laws to define a valid reason for refusing vaccination. Let’s break down each element of this exemption.
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