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Old 07-20-2021, 11:28 PM
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AVB-AMG AVB-AMG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
I disagree that a federal (or state) mandate should be issued for vaccinating. That's un-Constitutional. Employers can't mandate it because if violates HIPAA laws. Schools should be able to as they have for a number of other illnesses/diseases, nothing new there.
crystalworks:

Aside from my personal beliefs and preferences, there is a very important question that is being asked, with differing answers:
"Can Employers Require or Mandate that their Employees be Fully Vaccinated?"

If an employer wants its workers back in the office, can it require or mandate that they be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they come back? And if a reluctant worker refuses to get immunized, can an employer show them the door? From my research, there is no federal law specifically addressing that issue so the matter remains up to private businesses, state, local or other applicable laws, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is confusion as to whether or not HIPAA prevents employers from requiring vaccination as a prerequisite for employment. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, applies to what the Department of Health and Human Services refers to as “covered entities” — and to certain organizations and people who do business with those entities. HIPAA applies to health plans and most health care providers who work for covered entities and are themselves required to follow HIPAA because the law expressly applies to them.

Certain organizations DO NOT have to follow privacy and security rules contained within HIPAA, such as life insurance companies, employers, workers’ compensation carriers, schools, state agencies, police agencies, and local municipal governments. Employers can ask you for your information under HIPAA, but if they ask the doctor for the information directly, the doctor cannot give it out. Doctors are covered entities, but employers are not. One’s employer’s ability to dig into your health information and health care records is more thoroughly covered by equal employment laws and not by HIPAA.

Keep in mind that people have to reveal medical information all the time. HIPAA does not grant each American medical patient a universal shield against the passing of medical data. Employers have a legal right question whether job candidates are fit for service. For example, schools can ask bus drivers whether they can see properly with or without corrective lenses. Airlines can ask pilots whether they have a history of seizures. Railroad engineers can be required to take drug tests. Police officers and Firefighters are required to prove physical fitness. Medical examinations are often attached to such employment. HIPAA does not ban the asking of such questions or the gleaning of such data.

Also, on June 1, 2021, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that employers can now order their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination shot, provided that they comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), religious exceptions, and other laws. The justification for allowing employers to mandate vaccinations is based upon the logical and strong premise that unvaccinated employees present a “direct threat” to others in the workplace. It is also very likely that in the near future, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will promulgate COVID-19, related health and safety rules that employers are required to adhere too. Currently, OSHA is relying on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance pertaining to vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

Before requiring employees be vaccinated, employers should be aware that an employee who does not get vaccinated due to a disability (covered by the ADA), or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, (covered by Title VII), may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. The EEOC has recommended the following “reasonable accommodations” for employees who cannot get vaccinated: masking, working at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, working modified shifts, getting periodic tests for COVID-19, teleworking, or reassigning the employee.

Employees cannot cite their societal, political, economic philosophies, as well as personal preferences as a reason not to get vaccinated if their employer mandates vaccinations.

Therefore, from all of this, I do believe that the bottom line is that employers generally have the right to mandate that their employees get vaccinated for COVID-19 virus as a prerequisite for employment, abiding by the stipulations I noted above. So if the current or prospective employee does not want to get vaccinated or if they cannot show proof of being vaccinated, then they will have to find employment somewhere else. You and others have a different interpretation, understanding and belief. Therefore, I think the reality is that since the legislatures in many states are currently in the process of enacting legislation to prevent this from happening, the fate of this question will most likely be ultimately decided in the courts.

AVB-AMG
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Last edited by AVB-AMG; 07-21-2021 at 08:58 AM.
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