As employers, it is imperative to understand that we STILL remain in the midst of a pandemic. Indiana is seeing a growing number of positive COVID-19 cases. The Delta variant is highly contagious and requires everyone’s attention.
We do know vaccines protect workers and help business reopen and stay open safely.
Employers can ask employees about their vaccine status or require proof of vaccination. That is not a HIPAA violation. HIPAA Rules do not apply to employers or employment records.
Any mandatory workplace vaccination program must meet standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act of being “job related” and “consistent with business necessity” – as well as provide reasonable accommodations. Employers also cannot apply the vaccination requirement in ways that treat employees differently.
Regardless of what path you take regarding vaccines, it’s vital to identify resources and have a plan to help support your employees. Anxiety about returning to in-person work is VERY real.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many local governments are recommending a return to mask-wearing for everyone. The Indiana Chamber adopted that policy and is keeping up with social distancing and other safety procedures.
Whatever your plan is, we urge you to repeatedly communicate your expectations to achieve the best results. Then maintain your policies and update them as needed. Above all, have empathy for your staff and be consistent and clear in your messaging.
It is also important to stay apprised of expert guidance as the pandemic continues. The Indiana Chamber’s Coronavirus Recovery Resources features the latest news from the CDC and other key resources about COVID and the workplace. We are also here to answer any questions you may have.
Share your news with us!
Submit your news to the Chamber by the 12th or 28th of each month to be included in the bi-weekly Membership Matters emails.