Woman at work using hand sanitizer for COVID workplace protection

Top 6 Most Asked COVID Workplace Questions

Woman at work using hand sanitizer for COVID workplace protection
  1. Can an employer ask if an employee has been vaccinated?

    Yes, both the EEOC and the DFEH permit this.Employers have an affirmative duty to provide a safe work environment for their employees.

  2. Can an employer ask an employee why he/she has not been vaccinated?

    No, employees have rights of privacy.Employers are not permitted to ask questions that can lead to the employee disclosing a medical condition or disability that the employer has no right to know.

  3. Can an employer terminate an employee who does not get vaccinated?

    This relates to the above answer, but it also depends on the reason.If the employee volunteers that it is for religious or medical reasons; you must engage in the “Interactive Process of Reasonable Accommodations”. For example, allow the employee to work from an isolated work area or from home. I recommend engaging in the interactive process for all who do not get vaccinated. If the “Accommodations” requested result in an inability to perform “Essential Job Functions,” you may terminate.

  4. Can an employer make vaccinations mandatory?

    Yes, unless the employee objects based on religious or medical reasons (see question number 3) employers have an affirmative duty to provide a safe work environment. Less than half of employers will require vaccinations.Many employers will offer incentives.

  5. Can an employer require an employee to show proof of vaccination?

    Yes, but the documentation is considered a “medical record,” private, and only those with a “need to know” can see it.

  6. Can a 3rd party customer or client be provided with proof that your employees are vaccinated?

    For example, your customer or client says, “I will only allow your employee in my business if you show me proof that the employee was vaccinated.” You cannot unilaterally decide to provide proof of vaccination of your employees to third parties.
Please feel free to contact partner Steven Lee at slee@nullmwgjlaw.com or (805) 644-7188 with any questions you may have about this post or any other employment laws.

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