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Reno attorneys, HR experts weigh in on concept of mandatory COVID vaccine for companies, employees

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Northern Nevada Business Weekly, December 28, 2020, by Kaleb Roedel, for Northern Nevada business owners looking to bring employees back to work and bring customers peace of mind, there’s light at the end of the pandemic tunnel: two COVID-19 vaccines have been found effective and are approved for distribution.

What’s more, the federal government has given employers the green light to mandate workers get a vaccine and bar them from the workplace if they refuse.

The guidance, issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Dec. 16, confirmed what employment lawyers in the region had expected.

“I think the agencies are going to say, ‘yes, anything that we can do to stop COVID-19 is something that we want to support,’” Shannon Pierce, a labor and employment attorney at Fennemore Craig in Reno, said in a video interview with the NNBW. “Add to that, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires all employers — even when we’re not in a pandemic — provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards and harms.

“The only real way that we can do that is to provide a vaccine to the employees.”

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In 2024, McDonald Carano celebrates our 75th year of shaping Nevada’s legal, business, and government landscape. More than 60 lawyers and government relations professionals serve state, national, and international clients from our offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City. McDonald Carano provides legal services and government affairs and advocacy advice to startups, corporations, trade associations, nonprofits, public entities, high-net-worth individuals, investors, and public-private partnerships throughout Nevada. We are proud to be your Nevada law firm since 1949.

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