The National Restaurant Association hosted a webinar June 17 to discuss recent developments relating to U.S. DOL/OSHA’s Updated Guidance and the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), revised CDC Guidance for Vaccinated Individuals, the EEOC’s recent update of its Guidance for Vaccination and Compliance with the ADA and GINA, and what state and local “Vaccine Passports” mean for restaurants.
[Originally posted March 21, 2021] - In response to a number of inquiries on this subject, ORLA has compiled various sources of information on the topic. Please note, the following information is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.
The vast majority of content reviewed on this subject urged caution. A number of exceptions exist within mandatory programs, including medical conditions, religious grounds and potential union bargaining (if applicable). Mandatory vaccination programs are subject to state and/or federal oversight (BOLI, OSHA, NLRB, EEOC) and can trigger program review and legal pitfalls, such as violating the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and a host of potential medical, personnel and personal Data Privacy violations.
Even if successful in navigating the external patchwork of state and federal agencies, an operator that chooses to adopt a mandatory vaccination program must then overcome internal operational issues, such as what steps must be taken when an employee chooses not to be vaccinated, how to then protect the rest of the workforce, reconfiguration of office space, schedule changes and the like.
While mandatory vaccinations are allowed, a mandatory vaccination program is not advisable. The downside seems too great of risk for operators large and small.
Employers are encouraged however to promote employee self-education for vaccination acceptance, support voluntary vaccinations, follow the guidelines of local, city and state health authorities, provide their workforce the flexibility for designated group vaccination schedules and work with local Chambers and trade associations.
Here is a list of resources providing information on vaccines in the workplace:
For questions, please reach out to your Regional Representative.