Posted June 25, 2021
As COVID-19 vaccines are rolling in by the millions, businesses and restaurants are starting to reopen as mask mandates and restrictions are being lifted for those with a vaccination. Businesses are still worried about their health and safety since there is no way to know who’s not vaccinated if they refuse to wear a mask. Due to this, many businesses and restaurants have taken things into their own hands by placing their own rules regarding the mask and vaccinations.
This raises the question that many people are wondering: Are businesses allowed to ask for proof of COVID-19 vaccination? The short answer is yes, the long answer however, is much more complicated than that.
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is an act that is set to protect patient information. According to the CDC, this federal law created “national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.” On the grounds of this act, many people now believe that asking for proof of vaccination is illegal as it would infringe on their rights according to the HIPAA Act. However, this is fairly inaccurate due to what the law actually states.
Since HIPAA only applies to healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists, and psychologists, businesses and restaurants that aren’t considered healthcare institutions are not prohibited from asking for healthcare information such as vaccination status.
On account of this, businesses can mandate their own rules regarding the vaccines and masks which in turn can permit them to refuse service to those who don’t comply with their regulations. Customers can also refuse to disclose their information, but consequently may be asked to leave the establishment.
In order to prevent breaking the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and anti-religious discrimination laws, businesses are required to accomodate people who aren’t vaccinated. This can be in the form of offering the customer a mask or the option to deliver the product outdoors. Businesses additionally are not allowed to ask why someone is vaccinated as that may elicit information about a disability which would violate the ADA laws.
Have more questions about proof of vaccination?
If you still have questions regarding this topic or want to learn more about your legal rights, contact the COVID-19 Injury Lawyers today!
Posted in COVID-19.