*Updated September 20, 2021
As the COVID numbers seem to be rising and government, business and employers respond, we have received more and more inquiries from people whose jobs are at least potentially being impacted by COVID vaccine mandates.
Below represents the best knowledge and resource recommendations we have at this time regarding employers and the vaccine.
NOTE: We are not attorneys. We are relying on the best legal advice we have as we give the following, but it does NOT constitute legal guidance on this issue.
WFA’s Organizational Position on Vaccines (including COVID vaccines)
We do not take a position on whether anyone should take any vaccine. We believe that is a personal matter. That said, we firmly believe in and have acted numerous times to protect the right of people to make their own decision about any vaccine.
We believe vaccinations are a personal and medical freedom that must be maintained. We also believe that any vaccine that has used tissues or cells from aborted babies comes with major concerns for anyone who is pro-life.
Wisconsin’s Current Vaccine Laws and Exemptions
Wisconsin law provides for three exemptions for vaccines; however, these exemptions apply — as written in the state statutes (252.04(3)) — to parents making decisions about vaccinations for their children going to school. The three exemptions are health, religion or personal conviction.
The question is, will the courts uphold the exemptions in situations that are not about parents exempting their children from vaccinations required for school? Right now, we just don’t know.
What Resources Do We Offer?
The following are resources from four organizations, three of which are legal groups, that we respect and have shared information regarding employees invoking a religious exemption for the COVID vaccine.
RESOURCE ONE: Alliance Defending Freedom
We highly recommend you begin by reading this article from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), one of our frontline partners: “Summary Guidance for Religious Accommodations and Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates” The included FAQ section is also quite beneficial.
On ADF’s Facebook page you can read this helpful summary titled, “Can You Get a Religious Exemption from a COVID Vaccine Mandate?”
In essence, ADF recommends if you run into a problem with your employer that you engage a lawyer and ask the lawyer to contact ADF directly for more specific legal information and help.
RESOURCE TWO: Liberty Counsel
Attorney Mat Staver’s organization offers a vaccine exemption video, a form to get legal help, and sample letters to ask an employer for a religious exemption.
Liberty Counsel Action has a page that is filled with current information about the COVID vaccine in general.
RESOURCE THREE: The Rutherford Institute
The Rutherford Institute (RI) has been around since 1982 focused on civil liberties and human rights. RI has supplied more specific details than ADF on this employment vaccination issue, including a model letter.
**NEW! RESOURCE FOUR: Family Research Council’s “PrayVoteStand”
Family Research Council (FRC) is one of Wisconsin Family Action’s frontline national partners. FRC recently launched a new program, PrayVoteStand, that includes some additional resources on the vaccine mandate issue. Those resources are available HERE.
Family Research Council has also shared this advice from Alliance Defending Freedom.
We hope the above is helpful. Please let us know if we can be of further help — and feel free to share this information with others.
What we have given is certainly not exhaustive, but we consider these to be reputable organizations offering reliable legal guidance on this important issue. We offer this out of a sincere desire to assist those who are in the terribly difficult position of having to choose between having a job or getting the vaccine.