Privacy issues have arisen as employers throughout the U.S. are mandating and/or encouraging COVID vaccinations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [H.S.S.] recently issued guidance on workplace vaccinations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (H.I.P.P.A.), 42 U.S.C.A. § 201 et seq.
The HHS Guidance states:
- The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit businesses or individuals from asking whether their customers or clients have received a COVID-19 vaccine;
- The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prevent customers or clients of a business from disclosing whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine;
- The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit an employer from requiring a workforce member to disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine to the employer, clients, or other parties;
- The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit a covered entity or business associate from requiring its workforce members to disclose to their employers or other parties whether the workforce members have received a COVID-19 vaccine; and
Generally, the HIPAA Privacy Rule does prohibit a doctor’s office from disclosing an individual’s protected health information (PHI), including whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine, to the individual’s employer or other parties.
For additional information on the Privacy Rule and its application, visit https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/index.html.
The CDC issued “Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination,” available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html.
OSHA, at the U.S. Department of Labor, published “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace”, available at https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework. Additional guidance and resources on COVID-19 and the workplace, are available at https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance entitled, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” available at
Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L., Is It Your Employer’s Business if You Are Vaccinated?. Workers' Compensation Blog (Oct. 6, 2021)https://workers-compensation.blogspot.com/2021/10/is-it-your-employers-business-if-you.html
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over four decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
Blog: Workers ' Compensation
LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group
Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters