I’ve been asked, and even recently interviewed on KTUU Channel 2 News, whether employers can ask employees if they’ve been vaccinated.
The answer is “yes.”
According to a July 26, 2021 legal opinion, the U.S. Department of Justice officially took the position that the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not prohibit employers from requiring a vaccine even if authorized for emergency use only.*
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that employers can ask employees and applicants if they’ve been vaccinated.
Employers shouldn’t, however, ask further questions as they might then uncover private medical information.
Employers can even require proof of vaccination.
Can employers make employment decisions based on an employee’s vaccination status?
The answer is “yes.”
Employers are allowed to set conditions for the workplace, as long as they don’t violate federal, state or local laws.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employers can elect to have a fully vaccinated workplace, as long as they allow exemptions for those whose underlying medical reasons (Americans with Disabilities Act) or sincerely-held religious beliefs gives them a reason for refusing vaccination.
Employers need to accommodate to employees with legitimate exemptions if they can reasonably do so; for example, by letting those employees work from home.
As just example, Delta Airlines now asks that all new employees be vaccinated.
What are your thoughts about this?
If you’d like to learn more about employer/employee rights concerning vaccinations, you might enjoy these posts, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/07/delta-variant-fears-further-split-the-workplace/ and https://www.businessexpertpress.com/books/managing-for-accountability-a-business-leaders-toolbox/; https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/05/can-my-employer-make-me-get-vaccinated/, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/04/dare-we-ask-our-coworkers-are-you-safe-and-vaccinated/, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/03/vaccinated-employees-skirmish-with-unvaccinated-employees-new-employer-protocols/.
Also, my newest book, Managing for Accountability, https://amzn.to/2UNMcyX is now available on Amazon.
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