In this post, we will talk about HIPAA rule and whether employers can request or require you to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination from HIPAA perspective.

Can you be denied entry to a business for not being able to show proof of COVID vaccination?

Can you be fired for not being able to show valid proof of completing the COVID vaccine?

Can your employer require you to have a COVID vaccine?

These are just some common questions now. Some people claimed that it’s a HIPAA violation to request or require proof of COVID vaccination. However, according to experts this assumption is wrong. Let’s find out why.

COVID-19 vaccination card
Photo courtesy of EJ Hersom from Dept. of Defense

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or “HIPAA” is a United States federal law that outlines the rules for patient privacy. It was created to protect the fundamental right of individuals to keep their medical information private. This act includes the security and privacy provisions, as well as rules for how an individual’s health information can be used and disclosed.

In a nutshell, HIPAA rule only applies to people in “Covered Entities” and these entities are in the scope of heath care providers and health insurance companies.

As you know, most employers and businesses are not “covered entities” and if this is the case then HIPAA rule does not apply to them.

According to Timothy Ford, member of the employment and litigation departments at Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick in Denville, there is no law barring businesses from requesting or requiring vaccination cards or a vaccine passport before entering its place of business.

On the other hand, can your employer require you to get a COVID vaccine before returning to the workplace?

The answer is YES. Currently, there’s no statute or law that specifically prohibits employers from requiring that employees be vaccinated.

“If an employer requires employees to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19, the employer should advise the employee not to provide any medical information. In most circumstances, the vaccination card is all that is available and necessary,” Ford said, noting employers would need to keep it confidential.

Many businesses now require proof that you have received your vaccination. Anyone who does business with the public needs to be protected from communicable diseases as well as any danger that might be associated with someone who is sick especially with the deadly COVID-19.

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