March 10, 2021

 

Since U.S. employers can require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, they can require their employees to disclose their vaccination status.

However, employers may experience backlash from employees if they require them to disclose their vaccination status.

As an alternative, U.S. employers may consider a program where employees voluntarily consent to the disclosure of their vaccination status.

“Fully vaccinated” means “two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.”

One area of caution, however:

  1. Employers should avoid digging into other health inquiries to not run afoul of other employment laws relating to discrimination and disability.
    1. For example, if an employee states their health provider has instructed them against getting vaccinated, management should notask why the employee cannot receive the vaccine or ask questions regarding the employee’s underlying health condition. Likewise, the employer should remind employees not to provide vaccination documentation that contains the vaccine recipient’s personal medical information.
  2. Once the employee provides the documentation, it must be stored in a secure location, separate and apart from the employee file, similar to other medical records.
  3. Selected systems of tracking must comply with all applicable data privacy laws (be sure to check state laws for guidance as well).  In addition, access to the system must be restricted to appropriate personnel.  With great power to easily track information comes great responsibility, and the electronic tracking tools should be selected and maintained carefully and in a compliant manner.
  4. Global employers, prior to requiring vaccination status disclosure, should review the applicable laws of the applicable country.

 

Brooke Salazar

Authored By

Brooke Salazar, JD, PHR

HR Consultant, Apex Associate Counsel and DE&I Officer
Meet Brooke