By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The long-awaited and hope-filled arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is underway, with shots already being administered. But the question for many: Can your employer require you to take the vaccine?

“The short answer to that question is yes, but it is very important for businesses to look at the issue two ways – legally and practically,” said attorney Andrew Gordon.

For example, a meat packing company and a medical facility would likely require the vaccine. But for companies where employees are working from home, well, that’s a different story.

“From a practical stand point, to ask the employees to get vaccinated it is a big deal and may not be necessary for business,” Gordon said.

Employment in the united states is at will, unless a union is involved. Generally, employers can set working conditions, and that’s the case in Florida.

Employees can ask for waivers for religious or health issues.

“There are a lot of businesses I suspect will, in a practical approach to this, not going to rush to require this right out of the gate,” Gordon said.

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Then there’s the potential of liability issues if the vaccine is found to cause injury to an employee and the vaccine was required.

“Practically speaking, employees need to consider if it makes business sense to require their employees to get the vaccinations,” Gordon said.

Can your employers require a COVID test before you return to work? Yes.

Employers can also require occasional tests to make sure the workplace is COVID free.