Creating separate teams or workspaces for its vaccinated and un-vaccinated workers are options some employers have looked into for limiting exposure and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Fox26 in Houston turned to Bailey Brauer Labor, Employment and ADA Partner John Bosco for details on the legalities of segregating the workplace.
“Technically, it’s legal. It really comes down to practical considerations more than violating a particular statute but we’ve cautioned our clients against it,” he said. “The two laws that most frequently come into play here would be the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), where an individual might not be able to get a vaccine because of another unrelated health concern. The other is Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which goes into general discrimination for other protected categories.”
Although vaccine passports are now banned in Texas, Mr. Bosco says, a private business can ask employees about their vaccination status if they have decided to segregate employees.
If a business does implement separate areas for workers, employers may ask who has been vaccinated, but most are not mandating that employees disclose their vaccine status. Instead, employers ask workers to voluntarily provide that information. Employee privacy and confidentiality of personal medical information are important considerations that also need to be taken into account before any policy related to vaccination status is implemented.
The full interview can be viewed at Fox26Houston.com.