Many regional employers have begun implementing policies requiring employees be vaccinated and show proof of their vaccination status or commit to regular COVID-19 testing. With the increase in similar policy announcements, we connected with a local attorney to gather some tips to consider in case you decide to ask your staff for proof of their vaccination status.
Quotes from Attorney James Pirages, who serves on The Workforce Connection’s Board of Directors and is a Partner at Allen Galluzzo Hevrin Leake LLC:
Be Mindful of ADA
“Our Federal discrimination laws do not prohibit an employer from requiring employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 – but employers must be mindful of and comply with the reasonable accommodation requirements under the ADA as well as of Title VII ‘s requirements involving accommodations of religious beliefs.”
Limit Your Questions
“Similarly, an employer may ask employees whether they have been vaccinated. However, employers must be extremely careful about the other questions that they ask employees – especially when an employee has indicated that they have not received the COVID-19 vaccination. Remember — the ADA does not allow an employer to require medical exams or to ask disability-related questions of current employees without having a job-related business necessity for doing so – so follow-up questions are usually not advised.”
Keep Information Confidential
“Employers must also keep vaccination information confidential (as with other types of medical information), with such records to be kept in a confidential medical file separate and apart from the employee’s personnel file.”
About Attorney James Pirages:
James Pirages has more than 30 years of experience representing management and employers in labor and employment matters. He handles investigations of unfair labor practice charges and represents employers in proceedings of the National Labor Relations Board and Illinois State Labor Relations Board. Mr. Pirages also deals with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Illinois Department of Human Rights discrimination charges against employers, investigating charges and, when necessary, speaking on behalf of clients at hearings before those administrative agencies.