(WWLP) – As more people are returning to the office, can your employer require you to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A federal judge ruled that your employer can require you to be vaccinated in order to work, they can’t physically make you get the shot. The judge ruled that if you don’t like the policy you’re not forced to work there.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled this after 117 medical staff at a hospital in Houston filed a lawsuit against their employer over the vaccine requirement.

Legal experts say the ruling will likely stay as long as employers provide reasonable exemptions, such as for religious or medical reasons. If not, you may have to agree to work under certain conditions, if unvaccinated, to limit the risk you pose to others.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has allowed companies to mandate the flu vaccine, and has indicated employers can do the same with the COVID vaccine.

Do you think your employer should require vaccination?

“I think it’s an excellent idea because it’s going to start opening the country again,” said Kristal Olinski.

“I do not, it should be your own choice. It’s a free country,” said Samuel Lynn.

Your employer asking for proof of vaccination does not violate HIPAA laws. HIPPA laws prevent health care providers from sharing your information. They do not prevent you from sharing your own, although that is still your choice.

If you’re concerned, check with your employer to see if they have or will set up a specific COVID vaccine policy.