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Society Mandatory vaccination in the workplace is a consensus among experts

Collective right guarantees compulsory vaccination at work (Myke Sena/MS)

Cassandra Castro – from Cenarium

BRASILIA (DF) – In a world forced to live with the Covid-19 pandemic, a new reality is also taking shape in labor relations: the obligation of vaccination among employees and the doubt around the possibility of dismissal for just cause of employees who refuse to take the vaccine.

There is already a consensus in the legal spheres that in cases of collective health threat, the right of all will override individual rights. According to the technical guide issued by the Labor Public Ministry (MPT), the orientation is that companies invest in raising awareness.

The same understanding is ratified by the Supreme Court (STF), of the mandatory vaccination and that, indirectly, the unjustified refusal to the vaccine can even lead to dismissal for just cause, since no one would have the prerogative to endanger the health of other employees.

The lawyer Erik Maués says that even if there is this backing of the law for the dismissal, it should be viewed with great caution and can not be done in any way. According to the specialist, the Public Ministry of Labor has already given guidance to employers on measures to be taken to ensure the welfare and health of employees. “The employer should orient, make awareness campaign within the work environment encouraging their employers to get vaccinated.”

Collective’s right over individual’s to save lives

For the lawyer João Pacheco Filho, “under normal conditions, due to the respect for solidarity, objective of the Republic inscribed in article 3 of the Federal Constitution, and due to the protection of the health of the community, vaccination is compulsory, and the unjustified refusal may even lead to dismissal for just cause.

Lawyer Erik Maués cites a case that happened in São Paulo that illustrates this situation well. The Regional Labor Court of the 2nd Region maintained a sentence of just cause applied to a general services assistant who worked in a hospital and refused to take the vaccine twice.

The hospital ran two awareness campaigns about the importance of the vaccine and, even so, the employee did not want to be vaccinated. The first time she received a warning, and the second time she was fired. “The law is saying what needs to be done, the employee simply can’t refuse to be vaccinated simply because of political or ideological positions”, says the specialist.

But the worker also has the right to not want to be vaccinated and not be harmed because of that, as in the case of being carriers of diseases that make immunization impossible at a certain moment. In these situations, dialogue and common sense must be taken into consideration and the particularities of each situation must be evaluated.