Webinar Recording Now Available!
This was the first in a two-part COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar Series
In this webinar, EPIC and Fisher & Phillips review key findings from our recent EPIC Market Pulse Survey addressing the vaccine and the impact of COVID-19 on benefits, followed by legal and policy considerations of the vaccine, as well as an update on the current EEOC guidance.
Webinar Part 1 Agenda:
- EPIC Market Pulse Survey Results
- Preliminary Comments
- Legal Considerations
- Policy Considerations
- Practical Considerations and Logistics
- Helpful Resources
View the recording and presentation deck from Part Two of our COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar Series
During this webinar, a very good resource, the Good Sam COVID-19 Vaccine Video, was discussed. This video walks through the background of the COVID-19 vaccine and answers frequently asked questions.
The following is a recap of the questions, with answers provided by our guest speaker, D. Albert Brannen, Esq., partner at Fisher & Phillips. These should not be considered legal or medical advice. We urge you to discuss your particular facts and circumstances with counsel prior to establishing a vaccine policy.
Can we legally say in our postings that the SARS-CoV2 is not an acceptable test and result to be able to come back into our workforce?
We would need more information to properly answer this. You may want to discuss your particular facts and circumstances with counsel to be sure you are acting appropriately.
So “over” 16 years of age means 17 years old and older, correct?
The EUA allows vaccinations for only those 17 and over. We understand that testing is underway for younger people, however, the answer here may depend on the age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction
Can you provide guidance for those employees who don’t feel comfortable returning to work with no medical or ADA-related reason?
Not “feeling comfortable” may not be enough as a basis for not returning to work. You may want to discuss your particular facts and circumstances with counsel to be sure you craft an appropriate policy for your workforce.
Could handing food/being in food service be a valid reason for “job-related and consistent with business necessity” under the ADA/EEOC guidance?
This might possibly be a valid reason, but remember to take into account that there is no “one size fits all” answer and much depends on all the relevant circumstances.
Thank you for leading such an important discussion. Was curious to get your perspective on something a little outside of the box. Say I’m not pregnant, I do not have a religious objection and that I’m of good health but I’m very concerned about the unknowns of getting vaccinated so much so that it’s causing me tremendous anxiety. Do you think this would qualify as a health issue being it’s MHSA?
Doctor certified “tremendous anxiety” may be enough basis for not returning to work. You may want to discuss your particular facts and circumstances with counsel to be sure you craft an appropriate policy for your workforce.
So is it realistic for a private company, non-medical related or first responder associated, to require a person to get the vaccine? Can they deny getting the vaccine under U.S. Law or Constitutional right?
The U.S. Constitution does not provide a general right to privacy and the right not to be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure does not apply in the private employer context to employees (only when the employee works for the federal government).
Does the employer have to pay the employee if we place the employee on leave for refusal to take the vaccine?
No, but that depends on company policies which should be clearly stated.
Since these vaccines are not indicated to reduce transmission (only to decrease chances of acquiring Covid), how does that apply to mandates in terms of creating an unsafe workspace if someone refuses vaccination?
It is still too early to state this with authoritative support.
If someone gets the vaccine, what happens to the mask mandate for that person?
There has been no relaxing of mask mandates. In fact, these mandates have been increased in many areas regardless of vaccine status.
If we offer an incentive, what do we do for those who can’t take one for medical, religious, etc. reasons? Are we discriminating against those people by not providing them an incentive as well?
There is no clear guidance on this – but if we consider wellness incentives for which alternative standards are necessary under current guidelines, probably.
Do we have to move all those who have not been vaccinated to a certain area (in a manufacturing environment) and keep all those who have been vaccinated together in one area?
This depends on facts and circumstances. You should review this with counsel.
Can employers register or help employees register to get vaccines locally or is it better for employees to do it themselves?
This would depend on your company policy.