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In general, it is recommended for employers to offer vaccinations to employees on a volunary basis; however, employers in most states may be able to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations as long as the employer complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. See our Express Requests called
Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine
Employers are permitted to ask employees if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19; however, caution should be taken to avoid soliciting information related to an employee's medical condition. A simple yes or no response from employees should be sufficient and employers should instruct employees not to provide additional information about the reason they may not have received the vaccine. See our
Answers to the Most Common Coronavirus Questions
While employers may be able to make vaccinations a condition of employment absent medical and religious accommodations, some employees may have general objections to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and employers need to decide how they will proceed in these circumstances. Terminating employees might not be the desired approach, but allowing for a leave of absence, transfer to another position, telework or other modifications might be acceptable solutions. See our article,
What Employers Can Do If Workers Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination
Yes, employers are responsible for recording work-related cases of COVID-19 illness on their Form 300 logs if the following requirements are met: (1) the case is a confirmed case of COVID-19; (2) the case is work-related (as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5); and (3) the case involves one or more relevant recording criteria (set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7) (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work). Employers must follow the requirements in 29 CFR 1904 when reporting COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA. See our Express Requests called
OSHA Guidance for COVID-19 Reporting
If you haven’t already, please consider exploring our research and resources at togetherforwardatwork.shrm.org a call to action for the HR profession and business community to drive racial and social injustice from America’s workplaces.
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MEET YOUR HR KNOWLEDGE ADVISORS
Jim Emanuel, SHRM-SCP
Jim Emanuel, has over 30+ years of HR experience encompassing compliance, talent management, employee relations, compensation and leadership and development. Prior to joining SHRM, Jim worked 23 years for a Fortune 500 Healthcare Company most recently in the capacity of Director of HR Compliance.
Jennifer Chang, SHRM-CP
Jennifer Chang, brings a decade of human resources experience with her to the role of HR Knowledge Advisor. Jennifer has worked primarily in the government contracting industry in a variety of roles as an HR practitioner (generalist, specialist and director). She holds a master's degree in Organizational Development and Strategic Human Resources from Johns Hopkins University.
Robyn Hopper has 22+ years of experience in the human resources field. She obtained a BA, in Integrative Studies with a specialty in Social Work from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She has worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, for profit and nonprofit along with large and small employers.
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