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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Is It Your Employer’s Business if You Are Vaccinated?

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   


The CDC issued “Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination,” available at 
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 Additional guidance and resources on COVID-19 and the workplace, are available at 
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) 

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COVID Testing: What Employees and Employers Need to Know 8/27/21

Rules Proposed to End NJ Pension Cost Shifting 8/18/21 


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  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

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Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters