NEW YORK — A woman said she was fired from her server job at a New York City restaurant over not yet wanting to get the coronavirus vaccine, which the restaurant said was a requirement.
Bonnie Jacobson, 34, told The New York Times she was fired Monday from the Red Hook Tavern in Brooklyn, after she told management that she wanted to hold off because she and her husband are trying for a child and it’s unclear if the vaccines could have any impact on that.
She said employees received an email from the restaurant that getting vaccinated was a requirement, and when she said she wanted to wait, she received an email saying, “At this time your employment will be terminated. We are sad to see you go. If you do change your mind, please do not hesitate to let us know.”
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said employers can require employees to get vaccinated.
In a statement, the restaurant’s owner Billy Durney said, “Once New York state allowed restaurant workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to put a plan in place to keep our team and guests safe.
No one has faced these challenges before and we made a decision that we thought would best protect everyone. And, we now realize that we need to update our policy so it’s clear to our team how the process works and what we can do to support them. We made these changes immediately.”
Jacobson told the Times it was not about being anti-vaccine.
“I totally support the vaccine,” she said. “If it wasn’t for this one thing, I would probably get it.”
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