Can an Employer ask Employees if they are Vaccinated Against Covid-19?

Employee vaccination against COVID-19


Requiring employees to be vaccinated so as not to pose a significant risk to the health or safety of others in the workplace through potential exposure to or spread of the COVID-19 virus is a permitted employer practice. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows an employer to have a qualification standard that includes “a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.”

As an employer who decides to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you will want proof of the vaccination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that simply requesting proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination is a permitted employer practice. However, the EEOC cautions employers not to ask employees subsequent questions, such as why the individual did not receive a vaccination, because questions of this nature may elicit information about an employee’s disability, which is not permitted according to the ADA. By only asking for documentation, such as the CDC vaccination card, the employee will not divulge any sensitive medical information to the employer, since asking for the vaccination card only provides verification of the date of the dose(s), vaccine product name, vaccine lot number, and vaccination site. Following these practices should allow employers to avoid violating the ADA while obtaining documentation that their employees are doing their part to return the community to normal.

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