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Can your employer require you to get a COVID vaccine? A North Dakota attorney explains

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Before returning to work many employers are requiring employees to become vaccinated.

We spoke with an attorney on legal concerns and a business owner about his opinion toward vaccinations.

Jim Christianson is a realtor and business owner. He has the choice of whether or not to get vaccinated.

When holding open houses, he comes in contact with many people and has no idea if they’ve been vaccinated.

“I support vaccinations, but I also support individual rights. I do not feel comfortable or uncomfortable; I do not dwell on it. I don’t ask people on the street that I’m meeting if they have been vaccinated or not. I see people that are wearing masks and that’s their choice,” said Christianson.

Attorney Clayton Halunen says there is no way around employers requiring their employees to get vaccinated unless a person is pregnant, has a disability or has religious beliefs contrary to vaccinations

“Besides those valid reasons, an employee can be terminated if they refuse to get vaccinated,” said Halunen.

“We certainly have experienced where people want guests to be masked, but I have not encountered where they asked people to be vaccinated,” Christianson said.

“If they refuse to vaccinate employees and return people to the workplace unvaccinated, that can cause potential harm to others whether inside or outside the workplace. I think that would be an extremely dangerous situation,” said Halunen.

Christianson tested positive for COVID-19 last fall but made the decision to get vaccinated.

“Did I need to get vaccinated? I don’t know, that’s a whole other discussion. I just felt comfortable getting vaccinated and my family wanted me to,” he said.

As for the employees working at the Halunen Law firm, vaccinations are not required — but employees will still have to work from home unless they are vaccinated.

The bottom line legally? If your employer says you should be vaccinated and you decide to not, you could lose your job.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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