HIPAA and COVID-19 Vaccines: Can Employers or Corporations Require Your Vaccination Standing?
AAs a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we live in unique times and new rules and customs must be established for this era of the new normal. The idea of a vaccination certificate sounded unthinkable a few years ago, but now it has become something a lot of people worry about.
As life returns to normal, some of those who haven’t been vaccinated are concerned about the potential for companies, or even their own employers, to require proof of vaccination. This has raised questions about the legality of such requests and whether HIPAA is making such requests illegal.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is a law signed by Bill Clinton This prevents healthcare professionals from disclosing private health information without a patient’s permission.
This has been cited by some anti-Vaxxers as a way to decline requests regarding vaccination status. However, some experts believe that HIPAA does not affect health information questions when asked outside of a health setting.
We spoke to USA Today, law professor at the University of Pittsburgh Alan Meisel The facilities covered by HIPAA are health plans, health clearing houses, and health care providers who conduct certain health care transactions electronically.
Can companies ask about your vaccination status?
Given the argument put forward by the experts, it appears that HIPAA does not apply to non-healthcare companies and that local companies have the right to ask customers if they have already received a COVID-19 vaccine.
At the same time, customers have the right to refuse to provide this information. However, this could lead to them having to forego the service.
Can employers ask if you have been vaccinated?
Another problem is inquiries from employers. Following the same logic as above, HIPAA shouldn’t apply to employers, and they would have the right to ask about vaccination status. You can do this in job interviews as well, although employers need to be careful asking for additional medical information. A simple “yes” or “no” should be enough and you shouldn’t press any further.
Whether employers can require their employees to receive the vaccine is legally much murky and is still being worked out.