Posted 2 weeks ago - by

How to Ask Employees About Vaccination Status

Although OSHA’s most recent emergency temporary standard was blocked by the Supreme Court, there may be other local ordinances that require employers to ask employees about vaccination status. So how should an employer ask an employee about vaccination status? Employers need to be careful when approaching this topic as they don’t want to ask any disability-related questions- which ultimately the American Disabilities Act (ADA) does not allow.

Keep it specific

Using a questionnaire survey with specific answers for employees to choose from can help eliminate the risk of coming across as asking the wrong question. For example, an employer may ask employees to choose from the following:
(maybe show this list with checkboxes – not bullets?)

  • Fully vaccinated & can provide confirmation
  • Partially vaccinate & can provide confirmation once fully vaccinated
  • No current vaccination but can provide proof that they intend to
  • Not vaccinated nor plan to do so due to a medical or religious reason
  • No plans to get the vaccine and do not have a religious or medical reason

Similarly, it needs to be clear to employees that they should not include any other medical information. It is important to avoid structuring any questionnaire in a way that may persuade employees to share more than necessary.

Organize the process

It is up to the employer’s discretion if they want to end up requiring proof of vaccination. There are many factors to consider when making this decision such as:

  • Workforce size.
  • The level of risk the industry they are in is.
  • And if the workers often interact with each other or the public.

Any employer that does require proof needs to communicate any relevant procedures and requirements that may apply. This includes:

  • Timing– The employer should set a timeline of when they expect proof to be provided with an explanation of hard cut-off dates and specific exceptions to these dates.
  • Specifics of proof– It needs to be clear to employees what kind of proof is necessary and how to and where to submit.
  • Alternatives– Any alternative options such as remote work or wearing PPE on-site should be detailed for employees to know.
  • Storing the information– Before sending any notice out to employees a process should be in place for tracking who has provided proof and where and how it will be stored for safekeeping.

Keep HR involved as much as possible

There are vital considerations that organizations must take to avoid clashing with any labor/civil rights laws in doing so. For this reason, it is we recommend you to speak with a trusted HR partner/professional to make an informed decision.

Learn more about how Payroll Systems can seamlessly integrate benefits & HR into its payroll service to help you empower your workforce.

Related Posts

What is Pay As You Go Workers’ Comp Insurance?

  As an employer, you understand the need for worker’s compensation and may have heard of the term “pay as you go" workers comp So, what is it Is this something you need to consider  Pay...

Read more...

TriNet Acquires Zenefits: What You Should Know

TriNet, a provider of human resource products has recently announced that they will acquire Zenefits Zenefits is a cloud-based HR platform and software company Upon completion of the acquisition,...

Read more...

ICE Issues Extension for Remote Verification of Form I-9

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is extending the temporary policy that allows employers to inspect Form I-9 documents virtually through April 30, 2022 Originally, the policy was...

Read more...

Tips on Filing Forms 1095-C & 1094-C

IRS Forms 1095-C & 1094-C were designed as a way to track the requirement set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in which employers must provide healthcare coverage if they have 50 or more...

Read more...

Supreme Court Blocks OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

On Friday, January 7th, the Supreme Court held a special hearing to address the OSHA vaccine mandates However, it wasn’t until January 13th that they decided to officially block the mandate...

Read more...

Medical Cannabis News: Pfizer Enters the Industry With $6 Billion Investment

American pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation, Pfizer has signed an acquisition agreement with clinical-stage company Arena Pharmaceuticals The agreement stands at about $67 billion and...

Read more...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.