Can Employers Require Workers to Come Back to the Office?

As different sectors of the economy in California are reopening and COVID-19 vaccines encourage a return to pre-pandemic standards, many employers will face the task of calling employees back to the office. SBEMP partner Vee Sotelo has reported that an influx of inquiries to the firm’s Labor and Employment Department raise two important questions: Can employers require workers to come back to the workplace, and can employers require vaccinations?

According to Sotelo, the short answer to both questions is “Yes.” To break down the issue completely, she explains what employers can require by law, what constitutes a valid reason for refusing the vaccine, and how to safely implement a return to the workplace.

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For questions on this topic, or any other employment matter, please contact the Labor & Employment Department at SBEMP.

SBEMP’S Labor and Employment Department is comprised of attorneys with decades of experience in a broad range of labor and employment matters from day-to-day counseling to labor negotiations and litigation. Our team is prepared to guide our clients through the complex myriad of employment laws affecting California employers. We assist our clients with day-to-day personnel management issues, such as drafting employment policies, managing leaves of absence, identifying potential problems in hiring and firing practices, and ensuring wage and hour compliance. Our attorneys are also experienced litigators who regularly represent clients in all types of employment litigation, including defending wage and hour class actions as well as lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Additionally, we regularly represent clients in administrative proceedings, such as Labor Commissioner claims, CalOSHA citations, DFEH and EEOC investigations, and DLSE complaints. Our labor and employment practice is also prepared to assist clients with labor negotiations and disputes. Our labor attorneys are experienced in negotiating labor agreements as well as representing clients before the NLRB.

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