As an employer, you can help keep your employees, customers, and visitors to your workplace safe. The purpose of this toolkit is to:
- Support employers who want to require the vaccination of workers or customers
- Inform employers about existing vaccine requirements that may apply to their organization
Recommendation: The Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara has called on all businesses and government entities in the County to “implement mandatory vaccination requirements for all personnel, subject only to the limited exemptions required by law.” The County of Santa Clara as an employer has followed the Health Officer’s recommendation.
We also support businesses that require that anyone entering their business be fully vaccinated. This could include customers or visitors. Many local businesses, including bars and restaurants, have adopted this type of vaccination requirement.
Below you will find links that may be useful for creating a vaccination policy for your own workplace. You should work with your legal counsel to address any employment questions and to confirm that the information below is current and accurate. The County cannot provide you with legal advice regarding the information below or on any other employment matters related to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Sample Workplace Policies Requiring Vaccination
- Many of the country’s largest corporations such as Google require that their staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also gives guidance to all small businesses that they can mandate vaccination for their employees and tracks best practices among businesses around vaccine rollouts. Locally, the Bay Area Council, a business association, endorses private sector vaccination requirements.
- Other public organizations have similar requirements:
- UC COVID-19 Final Vaccination Policy
- White House Vaccination Policy for Federal Employees and Contractors
- U.S. Department of Justice Vaccination Policy for Employees, Contractors, and Visitors
- Los Angeles Unified School District Vaccination Policy (page 7)
- Nonprofit associations such as Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits also recommend that employers require employee vaccination. Many employers do so, including Health Trust and Health Right 360.
- Employers may consider offering employees incentives to get vaccinated (e.g., small gift cards), mandating vaccine education, and posting information on how and where to get vaccinated.
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Employment Information on COVID-19
- Cal/OSHA COVID-19 FAQs on Vaccines
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Workplace COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit: Information for Employers and Employees
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Issues Updated COVID-19 Technical Assistance
- You can partner with healthcare providers, as well as the County’s Mobile Vaccination program, to offer free on-site vaccination clinics to your employees.
Existing Vaccination and Testing Requirements May Already Apply to Your Workplace
The County still maintains its May 18, 2021 Order of the Health Officer for businesses who have not yet completed two rounds of ascertainment of vaccination status of their personnel. The first round of ascertainment must include all personnel, and the second round must be conducted 14 days after the first round and must include those who did not indicate they were fully vaccinated during the first round. Once a business completes the second round of ascertainment for its employees, the May 18th Order no longer applies to that business.
Separate from the May 18, 2021 Order of the Health Officer, Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards require that employers document the vaccination status of their employees or treat all employees as unvaccinated.
As a reminder, asking an employee or job applicant about their vaccination status does not violate HIPAA, and a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, California’s digital vaccine record system, or a vaccination record from a doctor or other medical provider is proof of vaccination. Collect and store employee vaccination information as you would similar private employee information.
The City of San Jose requires that operators and hosts of large indoor events with more than 50 attendees at a city-owned facility must ensure that all staff are fully vaccinated, with certain exceptions.
Other vaccine and testing mandates might apply to your business in California, such as the following:
- Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded healthcare settings
- Staff in Healthcare Facilities
- Staff in Adult and Senior Care Facilities, Homeless Shelters, and Correctional Facilities
- Staff in public and private schools serving students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12
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