How Can You Qualify For A Religious Exemption From COVID Vaccination Mandate?
A religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine is allowed for those who have sincere religious beliefs that prevent a person from receiving this vaccine.
An important question to think about prior to applying for this exemption is is if you have received other vaccines, why does your religious beliefs prevent you from receiving this particular vaccine. This question isn't on the form provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, however, an employer could have their own exemption application asking.
Employers are required to have a process for exemptions. An employer does have to evaluate whether or not an employee's request is due to a sincerely held religious belief. Religion itself is broadly defined but religious beliefs themselves have to be "sincerely held" in order to qualify for a religious accommodation. All requests are viewed on a case to case basis, meaning that if one employee is granted the exemption, an employee in a similar situation may not be granted the exemption. An employer may also deny an employee's request if granting the request could cause undue hardship on the employer due to cost, safety, infringes on other employee's rights, etc. Hardship for an employer is also a case by case basis. For more information, please check out the EEOC's website on
The EEOC defines religion as all aspects of of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer is unable to reasonably accommodate this request. It should be assumed that beliefs are sincerely held but there are scenarios where an employer can question this belief and ask for documentation or other evidence from an employee to backup their claim.
Our employment lawyers regularly handles cases arising out of religious disputes in the workplace. If you feel as though you have been discriminated against in your workplace, please call our office at 412-626-5626 to speak with an intake specialist.