Does your employer need to know your vaccination status?

If the employer is enacting safety protocols and for reasons regarding workplace safety and protection wants to know if their employees are vaccinated, the worker is obligated to answer honestly. Employers will soon have the right to require vaccines for those working in close contact with others, subject to exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Employees can also be fired for lying about their vaccination status, putting those around them at risk. 

Employers are obligated to quickly inform employees of the situation if they believe they could have or have come in contact with someone who had COVID-19. They must insist that these employees stay home from work until they can present a negative COVID-19 test. This is a measure of workplace safety and protects the employer from accusations of negligence or recklessness.

In the traditional sense, workplace safety continues to be an area of concern for both employees and employers. Suppose working conditions are unsafe from a health standpoint; in that case, an employee can protest and/or refuse to work until the workplace is evaluated and approved by a health and safety inspector. However, if the employee refuses to return to work after the inspector deems that the workplace is safe, the employer has grounds for dismissal.  

The right to refuse to re-enter the workplace also stands under the circumstances created by the stay-at-home emergency order unless the government enacts the charter “notwithstanding clause.” However, this theory has not been tested.

While it may seem like a privacy concern, your employer is entitled to this information so they may keep the entire office or workplace safe. 

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