Can Employers Require Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status?
We told you earlier this month about Governor Abbott making it illegal for businesses to require vaccine information from their customers. It turns out that may not extend to their employees.
Click2 in Houston is reporting that New York based Morgan Stanley is requiring the vaccination status of all of their employees. While that falls short of requiring them to be vaccinated, it does give Morgan Stanley the opportunity to require that those who cannot (or will not) prove they've been vaccinated to continue working from home while the rest of the staff returns to the office.
This is happening in Wichita Falls, too. I was talking with a friend last night and he'd been sent a corporate directive with a link to upload his vaccination status and a scan of his documentation worksheet to prove it if he were to state that he had been vaccinated. His options were to either show proof that he'd been vaccinated or to state that he did not wish to share that information. In this case that would pretty much amount to saying that he had not been vaccinated.
Are businesses allowed to demand this information from their employees? It turns out they are. According to jdSupra.com, Senate Bill 968 prohibits a business from requiring this information of their customers, but says nothing about their employees. Businesses are free to create and implement their own COVID-19 screening and infection protocols so long as they do not run afoul of any EEOC rules. Businesses are encouraged to continue to monitor the latest information from the EEOC, CDC, and other state agencies for guidance as this is a developing situation that the world has never had to deal with before.
I've got good friends on both sides of the vaccine issue and I'm not going to tell you what to do. Do your own homework, weigh the risks and benefits of getting or not getting the vaccine, then make up your own mind. Just be aware that if this is kind of documentation from employees is happening now in the banking industry it will probably also start happening in other industries before long.