There is a lot of misinformation regarding employer’s rights when it comes to mandating vaccination of its employees. Both California’s recently issued guidance by the DFEH [which can be found here] and federal EEOC guidance [found here] allow employers to require their employees to be vaccinated for COVID19. The DFEH is clear, however, that employers must provide disability and religious-related accommodations and not discriminate against, retaliate, or harass employees or job applicants or retaliate against due to their protected status or exercise of protected activity in regard to this issue.
Although many employers are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude towards mandating vaccines, some employers, especially those in higher-risk workplaces or in the medical industry, are more confident about implementing such a mandate. To the extent that mandating employers wish to verify their employee’s vaccination, they can do so by either asking to visually inspect their vaccination card or by making a copy of it for their personnel file [but by doing so, employers must treat any copy of the card as a confidential medical record].
If you are an employer with questions about how best to manage workplace issues such as these, please contact Sergio H. Parra with JRG at (831) 228-5619.