Can Utah businesses require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As the Governor’s April 1 deadline to open up vaccines to all adults approaches, some Utah businesses are taking a stance on whether they will require the vaccine as a condition of employment.

Due to Utah being an at-will state, attorneys say that, by law, employers have the right to require the shot.

But the owner of the Park Cafe, Shawn Miller, says he is going to strongly encourage his employees to get the shot instead of making it mandatory.

“It is almost an infringement on people’s privacy from my point of view,” Miller tells ABC4. “I feel the responsibility to allow everyone to be their own person.”

A local human resource attorney agrees with that decision.

“They can say this is a condition of working at this job. They have to be really careful in doing so, they have to make sure they are making accommodations or exemptions for anyone who has a physical disability or a religious reason. Either one that prevents them or makes them uncomfortable getting a vaccination,” Attorney Spencer Phillips with Employer Lawyer explains.  

Regardless, Miller there will be strict safety guidelines in place.

“I plan on keeping staff in masks as long as possible,” Miller says. “Also, with the seating, even though we are allowed to bring more tables in, I plan to hold back until we can get to a point where we feel safer.”

There are certain exemptions people can file to not receive the vaccine.

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