LAW ALERT! Vaccines in the Workplace Explained by An Expert Employment Law Attorney

Vaccines in the Workplace Explained by An Employment Law Lawyer

Our expert employment law attorney and partner, Marie Davis, Esq, explains the frequently asked questions on the topic of “Vaccines in the Workplace.” She goes over multiple executive orders and upcoming regulations on vaccine mandates as well as your options. She also demystifies and thoroughly clarifies the latest vaccine mandate and the Biden Administration’s executive orders for human resource professionals, employers, and business owners, as listed follows:

  1. Federal vaccine mandate
  2. Head Start Program’s vaccine mandate
  3. Healthcare workers’ vaccine mandate
  4. Large employers’ vaccine mandate
  5. Paid time off
  6. Vaccine mandate exemptions
  7. LA County vaccination verification requirements
  8. Vaccination records

Watch the “Vaccines in the Workplace” video on YouTube explained by an experienced employment lawyer for more information.

1 Federal Vaccine Mandate

Federal employees need to be fully vaccinated by November 22 according to President Biden’s executive order signed on September 9. This mandate extends to federal workers working remotely. Federal contractors must have the mandatory COVID vaccine by December 8. Full vaccination is considered as two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine according to CDC.

Federal contractors now face vaccine mandate by December 8, 2021. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued written guidance to implement the executive order, which applies to companies with a federal government contract or “contract-like instruments” of $250,000 or more and provides further detail and guidance on the vaccine mandate and COVID-19 safety protocols affecting nearly all federal contractors.

Marie explains the federal vaccine mandate effective date in this video at this marked time.

2 Head Start Program’s Vaccine Mandate

Head Start programs provide the school readiness for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Services are provided in settings such as family childcare and children’s own home.

The Head Start Program, which is part of the federal employee vaccine mandate, states that all Head Start employees must be vaccinated by January 2022.

Marie discusses the terms of the Head Start Program’s requirements regarding the vaccine mandate at the marked time.

3 Healthcare Workers’ Vaccine Mandate

On August 18, the White House issued a fact sheet stating that US DHHS will develop new regulations requiring all workers at any health care facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding to fulfill the vaccine mandate.

Marie explains the healthcare worker vaccine mandate in more detail here.

4 Large Employers’ Vaccine Mandate

The United States Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are developing an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). It should be issued in a few weeks, which will mandate employers with one hundred (100) or more employees must require the vaccine mandate or weekly COVID-19 tests, with a fine of $14,000 will be charged for each violation. This mandate will probably impact over 80 million employees working in private sector.

Marie discusses this topic in more detail here.

5 Paid Time Off

Additionally, workers are required to be paid for the tests, and be provided time to recover from the vaccine; employers can require employees to use their already-existing paid time off to do so.

Marie explains these two aspects of the vaccine mandate in more detail here.

6 Vaccine Mandate Exemptions

The two exemptions to the vaccine mandate are disability exemptions and religious exemptions. Employers are required to take the disability or religious belief into consideration, which includes speaking to the employee in question and deciding whether the exemption would apply.

Marie discusses the complex nature of the vaccine mandate exemptions here.

7 LA County Vaccination Verification Requirements at Select High-Risk Settings

The LA County is to implement vaccination verification requirements at select high-risk settings by October 7. A high-risk setting is a location in which many people gather, including sporting events, amusement parks, concerts, and so on. Attendees of such places and events are required to show evidence of vaccination or a negative test result for COVID prior to entry to said location.

Marie gives extra details to elaborate on what is considered a high-risk setting.

8 Vaccination Records

The employee file is something that an employee’s manager could potentially review. Vaccination records need to be confidential, accessible only to HR and possible company medical officers.  Employee medical information must be stored separately from the employee file.

The law is not well-developed regarding vaccination records, but COVID-19 vaccination data could be considered medical information by the courts. All that is required is a copy of the vaccination card. The records should cover the type of vaccine, the dates on which the vaccines were received, and the number of vaccines. Marie explains the process of vaccination records and what it entails here.

Marie Davis, Esq. is an employment law attorney and partner with Landegger Verano & Davis, ALC. Marie is based in Camarillo, Ventura County in Southern California.

Written by: Employment Lawyer – Clerk RW