Brazilian ordinance on employer vaccination mandates faces legal challenges

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Like so many around the world, companies in Brazil are grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and are working to figure out the best way to return to office while protecting employees’ health and safety.

A new ordinance issued Nov. 1 by Brazil’s Ministry of Labor and Welfare, and subsequent legal challenges, are causing even more uncertainty as companies determine how to move forward.

Ordinance # 620/2021, which establishes rules and restrictions around employee COVID-19 vaccinations, states an employee’s failure to provide proof of vaccination is not cause for termination, or any other adverse action, and doing so, or demanding proof of vaccination in the hiring process, is equal to discrimination and forbidden in Brazil’s Constitution. Under the ordinance, companies may create policies encouraging employee vaccination and conduct periodic COVID-19 testing for those who do not want to provide proof of vaccination.

Four cases filed before Brazil’s Supreme Court are challenging the constitutionality of Ordinance # 620/2021, and Nov. 17, the court

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