COVID LAW Q&A
Q: Can US employers require employees to get COVID vaccines?
A: Yes, if the vaccine is necessary to an employer’s business + related to an employee’s job. But, because COVID vaccines are in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) stage, employers should weigh the positives of a vaccinated workforce against the risks of mandating vaccines.
Q: Doesn’t HIPAA prevent employers from asking employees for private health info?
A: Usually no. HIPAA generally applies to employers with self-funded health insurance plans + healthcare providers. Even if an employer is a covered entity under HIPAA, HIPAA doesn’t apply to employment records (but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does).
Employers must keep the vaccination records confidential under the ADA.
Q: What exemptions can employees use for the COVID vaccine?
A: Employees can request exemptions based on sincerely held religious beliefs under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or for a medical reason under the ADA. There is no exemption for personal beliefs.
This post doesn’t address specific state laws, is meant to be general in nature + should not be taken as legal advice.
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