April Fast Break Recap: Back to Work | Morgan Lewis – Health Law Analysis


We organized a very instructive quick break session last week to discuss what healthcare providers need to know as they prepare their employees to return to work and attempt to regain a sense of normalcy. If you weren’t able to join us for the live program with Daniel Kadisone of the leaders of Morgan Lewis’ COVID-19 Compliance and Advisory team, be sure to access the presentation on request or browse the main takeaways below.

  • At present, the clear answer is that there is no federal obligation for employers to provide or offer to provide the vaccine, but it is also important to note that there is virtually no a federal, or currently state, ban on any employer requiring or recommending the vaccine to its employees.
  • At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that employers can require individuals to be vaccinated, provided they make accommodations for people who cannot be vaccinated due to disability or sincere religious belief.
  • According to the EEOC, the vaccine requirement is a safety-based qualification standard permitted under the ADA, if an unvaccinated employee poses a direct threat the health and safety of others in the workplace.
  • This direct threat this is what allows employers to put in place a vaccination requirement because you can take a position, especially in a health care setting, that anyone who interacts with other people, even if they don’t s It’s not about patients, could pose a direct threat of spreading COVID-19 to, and the best way to prevent that direct threat or at least a very effective way to prevent that threat is to get people vaccinated.
  • When discussing the possibility of mandating vaccines for your staff, you practically have to consider vaccine supply and data, implementation (accommodation, compensation for time spent, reimbursement), impact on employee morale, potential turnover and staff shortages.
  • At present, employers have a very wide discretion to encourage employees to get vaccinated, allowing them to decide what is best for their staff. It can also include various incentives.
  • While employers can asking an employee if they have been vaccinated can be risky. If they haven’t, the reason they weren’t vaccinated could very well be some sort of protected health reason.
  • Employers may require employees to show proof of vaccination, as well as visitors and others who show proof of vaccination. If your organization has an accreditation requirement, you may consider adding a full COVID-19 vaccination as one of those credentials.
  • At this time, best practice would be to maintain current masking, social distancing and cleaning protocols.

To access this presentation in detail, visit our event page.

Don’t forget you can watch any of our previous webinars on our quick break serial sheet >>

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