January 18, 2021
Posted by Shannon Oswald
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued guidance regarding vaccine anti-discrimination laws.
An employer may make vaccination mandatory – however, some employees may choose not to due to personal health or disability prohibitions or personal beliefs and preferences. In those cases, the employer cannot move to terminate staff unless they pose a significant threat to safety or obvious potential harm to other persons in the workplace.
To identify whether or not this person is a threat to safety, the employer must assess risk in four ways:
- Duration of the risk
- Nature of the severity of the potential harm to others
- The likelihood that harm (exposure) would occur
- The imminence of potential harm
As always, employers should first determine if an accommodation can be made (such as remote working).
Lastly, remember that employee medical information is confidential and should be kept separate from a general personnel file.
Shannon Oswald works in the HR Solutions Group at Armanino LLP. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and a Senior HR Professional (SPHR) certification. She has a broad background in HR consulting, having worked in many different industries, including tech companies and start-ups. She spends her free time thinking about work and writing posts for Armanino newsletters.
Co Authors :
Jenn has more than 25 years of outsourced accounting and finance experience, with a particular expertise in startups and the advertising and creative production industries. She is passionate about seeing companies utilize the latest accounting technology to maximize their efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, success.
Before joining Armanino, Jenn founded and led Team Jenn Corp., a firm dedicated to the strategic financial management of startups and small businesses, offering a comprehensive back office solution with accounting, finance and HR solutions. Previous roles include stints at advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, and in the cash management industry.
Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pepperdine University and is a member of several professional associations including the National Society of Accountants, ProVisors and the Women’s Business Enterprise Network.