SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When you walk into MGM Springfield, you are required to wear a mask. That goes for guests and employees. Now, vaccines will mandatory for most employees starting at the end of the month.

Starting August 30, all new hires, both paid hourly and salary who are not working from home, are required to show proof of vaccination before they begin work at MGM Springfield. Salary employees must be vaccinated by October 15.

In a letter sent to MGM Springfield employees on Monday, company President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle said in part:

“I know that for some of you this may be an unwelcome development – a consideration that we did not take lightly when making this decision. However, as one of the largest and most trusted operators and employers in our industry, MGM Resorts is determined to do our part to curb the spread of the virus and help counter alarming trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccination is the most effective tool in doing so.”

President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle

Existing hourly workers are not currently included in this policy but the company said it is considering expanding its new vaccine requirement. The casino also said they plan to make vaccination easy by providing on-site clinics for employees.

This begs the question, can your employer make you get vaccinated? The short answer is yes. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that it is legal under federal law for companies to require their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with a few exceptions related to health complications, pregnancy, or religious beliefs.

Many state’s have required government employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing. It is not currently mandated in Massachusetts or Connecticut. Employees who refuse to get the vaccine could face fines or termination.