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Healing is Coming - February 2021 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 6 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 T he COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to be administered and you face the possibility that some members of your staff will refuse to get inoculated. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guid- ance on your rights as an employer and what you need to know about the legal issues surrounding the vaccine. Here are answers to key questions you might have about making vaccination mandatory — and what to do when employees decide to pass on receiving their shots. Can you require staff to get vaccinated? Yes, according to the EEOC (osmag.net/aD9GRe), which states that requiring your employees to get vaccinated does not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) if you can make the case that they are a direct threat to the health and safety of others in the workplace. In other words, if it can be determined that an unvaccinated employee would expose others to the coronavirus, a COVID vaccine can be mandated. You can ask for proof that your employees have been vaccinated because the COVID vaccinations are not considered medical examinations and not covered under ADA or Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) restrictions. Make sure, however, that you ask employees to not send any other medical information along with the proof of vaccination that you're not entitled to, as posses- sion of health histories could cause future legal issues for your facility. Can staff members refuse to get vaccinated? Yes, employees can decline vaccination on a variety of grounds and for any number of reasons, includ- ing personal choice, fear that the immunizations were rushed onto the market, concerns about long- How to Handle COVID-19 Vaccinations Understanding anti-discrimination laws will help you navigate the rollout. Legal Update Casey Duhart, BS, M.Ed, JD ADDED PROTECTION Vaccination could be considered mandatory in healthcare settings if it's determined unvaccinated workers put the well-being of others at risk.

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