What Employers need to know about CDC guidelines and Fully Vaccinated Employees

On May 13, 2021, CDC announced that the mask mandate is lifted for fully vaccinated individuals in most non-healthcare settings (but makes clear this guidance does NOT supersede- federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance[M1] .  OSHA has not yet updated its guidance on the issue.  However, on its website, OSHA refers back to the CDC guidance regarding measures appropriate to protect fully vaccinated workers.  What does this mean for employers?

While there is probably more guidance to come, employers (outside of healthcare) may allow fully vaccinated employees to forego masks and will not be subject to potential OSHA violations. 

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?  Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they receive their final vaccine.

May an employer ask for proof of vaccination?  Yes, unless in Montana.  EEOC has stated that simply requesting proof of the COVID-19 vaccination is not a disability-related inquiry and therefor it is acceptable for an employer to ask for proof of vaccination BUT do not go any further with the inquiry since subsequent questions could elicit information about a disability or genetic condition.

To learn more, many questions and answers are included in the  COVID-19 Vaccinations:  EEO Overview