Covid-19 response

Can we require clients or employees to show us proof of vaccination?

  • 1.  Can we require clients or employees to show us proof of vaccination?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Please also refer to our article "Can I mandate that my employees be vaccinated?"
    Also see "Can I just allow vaccinated clients into my hospital?"


    1. ADA considerations
    Here is an article from the Society for Human Resources Managers
    https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/employers-should-be-cautious-when-asking-about-vaccination-status.aspx

    In relation to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    " ...employers should be careful not to ask for more information than is necessary...simply asking for proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is permissible under the ADA because it is not likely to prompt the employee to provide disability-related information....EEOC doesn't consider questions about vaccination status to be medical inquiries..."

    Here is the full EEOC document on Covid related inquiries
    https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws

    2. HIPPA considerations
    HIPAA, also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and its subsequently added Privacy Rule include provisions to protect a person's identifying health information from being shared without their knowledge or consent. The law, though, only applies to specific health-related entities, such as insurance providers, health-care clearinghouses, health-care providers and their business associates.

    You can find a list of covered entities on the HIPPA site. This does not include animal hospitals.

    Also note that in its guidance for

    In terms of asking clients, New York State is positively encouraging businesses to ask for vaccination status and is actively providing tools to make it possible
    https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass.

    In addition, when NY State passed the law that entitles employees to receive Covid-19 vaccination paid leave, they issued guidelines that do not prohibit employers from requiring proof of vaccination before paying leave.
    https://dol.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/05/cd6-paid-leave-for-covid19-vaccinations-5-18-21.pdf
    Q: CAN AN EMPLOYER REQUIRE PROOF OF VACCINATION TO ALLOW AN EMPLOYEE TO CLAIM THIS PAID LEAVE PERIOD?The law does not prevent an employer from requiring proof of vaccination. However, employers are encouraged to consider any confidentiality requirements applicable to such records prior to requesting proof of vaccination.

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    Timothy Atkinson
    NYSVMS
    Albany
    518-869-7867
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