COVID-19 Vaccines & Workplace Complexities
Understand the laws impacting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs and the key issues to consider when structuring a program.
COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are now increasingly required for employees, and while employers are anxious to have a vaccinated workforce in order to avoid future closures and outbreaks, OSHA’s upcoming emergency standard requiring most employers to mandate either vaccines or tests complicates the issue and raises the specter of $136,532 penalties per affected worker. This topic will address the legal complexities on structuring mandated vaccine programs under statutes administered by the EEOC, OSHA, and under collective bargaining agreements. The material will address worker resistance to mandated vaccination programs. The speaker will also review the various intertwining federal laws impacting mandatory workplace vaccination programs, ranging from the OSH Act, ADA, and Title VII to issues arising under collective bargaining agreements, wage and hour laws, FMLA, and state workers’ compensation laws. This material will also outline key issues to consider when structuring a program, including on-site versus off-site, verification of vaccination status in light of both HIPAA and GINA, which refusals are protected, and what elements are needed to assert the direct threat to safety affirmative defense. The new EEOC policy declaring “Long-COVID” to be recognized as a disability under the ADA will also be addressed.
• You will be able to define reasonable accommodation and direct threat to safety within the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act and COVID-19.
• You will be able to recognize which aspects of long-COVID are covered disabilities under the ADA and may require accommodation.
• You will be able to describe how to structure vaccine incentive programs so they will not violate new federal or state OSHA regulations or collective bargaining agreements.
• You will be able to discuss which federal worker protection statutes apply to COVID-19 vaccine programs and which workers are protected under those statutes.