As businesses start to reopen, you may be considering mandating COVID-19 vaccinations before workers return on-site. It’s a tricky decision. While the short answer is yes, you technically can require your team to get vaccinated, there are both legal and business factors to consider before you implement a requirement:
- Are you complying with both federal and state OSHA standards?
- Do you have state or local laws on vaccine programs?
- Will wage and hour requirements come into play?
- How will you handle situations where an employee has an adverse reaction to a vaccine?
- How will you ensure non-discrimination?
- How practical is a vaccine requirement based on local availability?
- Would certain roles require vaccination and not others?
- How might you collect and store information on whether someone is vaccinated?
- How long is proof of vaccination good for?
- What are the cultural implications for your business?
In short, federal laws do not prevent companies from requiring employees to provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination, though they must keep that information confidential. Employers can also distribute information to employees and their family members on the benefits of vaccination, as well as offer incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated, as long as the incentives are not coercive.
But you might also be asking ~ Is this a HIPAA violation?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has protections for patients’ confidential health information, but it covers what your healthcare provider can share with others, rather than employers and what they can ask for.Make HR management one less thing to worry about. Whether you are a startup or a growing company with 50+ employees, HRO has the tools you need so you can focus on guiding your team to success.