Employer Vaccination Policy

Employer Vaccination Policy
With the growing discussion on vaccinations in the workplace, there are key points that should be included in the policy, whether the organization is mandating vaccines or encouraging employees to get them. There are varying opinions on the mandating of the vaccine in the workplace, so it is strongly encouraged that when the policy is put in place, it should be handled with flexibility and sympathy as it is communicated to the employees.
If the business intends to create a mandatory vaccine policy, they must clarify the scope of who is affected by the policy. For example, if an employee continues to work remotely and the company has no intention of them returning to the office, they may be exempted from the vaccine requirement. Another thing to consider is the level of interaction with other individuals when determining which job categories should be included in a mandatory vaccination policy. While all these considerations are important, the organization must make sure the policy is enforced uniformly. When determining groups that will be affected by said policy, make sure that they do not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
 
The reasoning as to why the vaccine is mandatory should be included in the distribution of the policy. The deadline of when all doses must be completed should be clearly identified. Employers must anticipate the changes on the workload and deadlines due to vaccination appointments, possible adverse reactions, and the availability of the vaccine. Included in the policy brief should be details about where they may receive the vaccine and if the employer will cover the cost, if there is one. The employees should also be informed if the time receiving the vaccination is compensable.
 
Employers must include in the procedure how a staff member must show proof of their immunization. The record of this should be kept separate from the personnel file and remain confidential. There should be information detailed in the policy about how to request an exemption or other accommodation. Those individuals who request an exemption or accommodation should be notified of the documentation they need to provide to be granted said exemption. The consequences should be clearly laid out for individuals who fail to receive the vaccine or an exemption by the stated date.
 
If an employer chooses not to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, they may choose to issue a written policy strongly encouraging the vaccination and information about where to receive the vaccination. When an incentive for receiving the vaccine should be offered, it should not be substantial or it may be deemed coercive. Another option for employers is to issue a policy requiring employees to disclose vaccination status. This policy should include whether they may self-attest or show a copy of proof. 
 
If you have any questions or concerns regarding Vaccination Policies in your business, reach out to the LCR COVID-19 Advisory Team at Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP at 973-729-1880 or via email:
 
 
 
The foregoing is not intended, and should not be construed as, legal advice or guidance or an offer to provide legal services by Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP. The contents of this communication is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on, or considered, in making any decisions or taking any actions. If you wish to inquire about legal services, please contact Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP, at lcr@lcrlaw.com.