ST. LOUIS ( -- Companies are slowly bringing workers back into their offices after so many worked remotely during the pandemic. All workers at RedKey Realty Leaders are scheduled to return to the office on July 1st. But owner, Jill Butler, said she would not require them to be vaccinated.

"Strongly encouraged but not a requirement," she said. But Butler said employees who aren't vaccinated will be required to wear a mask.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces workplace discrimination laws, had given recent guidance that employers can require their employees to be vaccinated.

"Even though I think employers can require vaccinations, I think a lot of employers are not going that far," said attorney Russ Riggan.

Riggan specializes in employment law and said the issue of whether or not employers will require employees to be vaccinated is a hot button issue right now.

At Forever Tennis, owner Travis Bakai said he's vaccinated but will respect his employees' right to make that choice for themselves.

"I'm not going to force my employees to get vaccinated to come to work. If they aren't, I would like for them to wear a mask," he said.

Both Saint Louis University and Washington University have announced that students and employees will be required to be vaccinated when they return for the fall semester. Washington University has set a deadline of July 15th for students to upload a photo of their vaccination card.

Riggan said some employees can claim an exemption from a vaccine mandate for health or religious reasons. But he said those employees will have to provide information that can justify their choice to opt out.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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