Are you a business owner wondering if you can require employees get the Covid-19 vaccine? If yes, there are some things you need to know.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) says yes, employers can mandate the vaccine. However, there are some risks you should be aware of before you decide to make it mandatory.
If you mandate the vaccine, not every employee will be able to get the vaccine, due to underlying health issues for example. There will be screening questions that must be asked before determining whether an employee would be eligible to receive the vaccine. These screening questions may contain sensitive or private information about the employee and their underlying health issues. This presents a risk -where will you keep that information, who will ask the questions. This could lead to a data breach claim.
Instead of you, the employer handling this, it is recommended that you consider using a third party to collect the information.
It might also trigger an employment practices liability claim if you mandate one employee but not the other. The claim may not be founded, however there may still be legal defense costs.
It is also recommended that you think about instead of mandating the vaccine, create a voluntary program where employees are celebrated for getting the vaccine. Perhaps some kind of incentive or reward program.
Your business insurance may provide data breach and employment practices liability coverage. Give us a call and we can review your insurance policy to be sure you are protected properly.
Listen to this brief video from HR Affinity Group to learn more about things to consider before mandating the vaccine.
Author Lisa M. Flaherty is an expert in the field of business insurance. She is a licensed NYS P&C agent and website publisher. Her expertise is working with business owners eradicating critical coverage gaps in insurance policies, and working with employers to ensure proper protection. Her clients include franchised and non-franchised auto dealers, contractors, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: Lisa@tiains.com
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