Can Your Association Adopt a COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement?
FDA-approved vaccines are unlocking a range of legal issues for associations
Vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA are now providing a welcome doorway out of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, they are unlocking a range of legal issues for associations concerning vaccine mandates. May an association require employees to be vaccinated before they return to the office? And, more broadly, may it require vaccination for attendees at its meetings and conferences?
Here are some of the key issues that any association should consider before implementing a vaccine policy.
Nothing in the law specifically prohibits an association from mandating vaccinations for its onsite employees. However, a range of federal laws—such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the National Labor Relations Act and laws affecting the privacy of medical information—can directly affect a covered employer’s vaccination policy. Beyond this are practical concerns such as access, supply, distribution, and administration of the vaccine. Associations framing a policy in this area should keep several employment law issues in mind.
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