What can and can't employers legally require when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines?

As more companies continue to bring more people back into the office after more than a year of working from home, questions are being raised over what employers can and can't legally require when it comes to vaccinations.

FOX 9 spoke with Minneapolis employment attorney Greg Simpson of Meagher + Geer to get some answers.

Can employers require their workers to get vaccinated?

"If they are working on-site in the employer's facility, with some exceptions, employers can require those employees to be vaccinated for the safety of other employees," said Simpson.

Those exceptions need to be well documented and include sincerely held religious beliefs or a medical condition that would make it a burden to get the vaccine.  

Can employers require proof of vaccination from employers?

Yes again, according to Simpson.

Companies can require proof from their workers, like a vaccine card, but it needs to be kept as a confidential medical record.

If an employee refuses to get vaccinated, can they be fired?

Yes, with the religious and medical exceptions previously noted. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws to prevent employment discrimination and recently issued guidance on the matter.

"Employers can require their employees to be vaccinated and fire them...if they don't get a vaccination," said Simpson.

Can stores and restaurants require customers to be vaccinated?

It's kind of like those no shirts, no shoes, no service signs.

"They can say no shirts, no shoes, no service, no unvaccinated people. As long as they aren't making the distinction based on illegal classifications, they can do that," said Simpson.

But he adds, they can't really enforce those policies.

"You can say you are trespassing if you come in here and you aren't vaccinated, but you can't enforce that. You can't do anything to them," said Simpson.

As cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant rise as more workers head back into the office, Simpson tells FOX 9 he thinks we will see more and more companies start to require vaccinations for employees.