As coronavirus counts ramp up again across the country due to the highly transmissible delta variant, questions about vaccine requirements in workplace settings are once again underlined. Can an employer require an employee to get vaccinated before coming to work? To shed some legal light on the situation here in Texas, Attorney Byron Miller of Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. in San Antonio was recently interviewed on News 4 SA, a local NBC affiliate.
In the piece that featured him – which you can view by clicking here and opening the News 4 SA site – Attorney Miller explained that employers currently do not stand any legal backlash by requiring their workers to be vaccinated. While most people are quick to shout that mandatory vaccination or asking for proof of vaccination is a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violation, this is untrue. HIPAA only applies to healthcare workers and their industries, so individuals are still entirely free to request medical information other people without it constituting a HIPAA violation.
As Byron elaborated, mandatory vaccinations are already being upheld in some major industries, including the NFL. The League recently announced that teams that cannot play due to a coronavirus infection will forfeit those missed games, a not-so-subtle prompt for players to go get vaccinated. In fact there are large employers, such as Methodist Hospital, that have required the vaccination. An employee led lawsuit was filed to contest the requirement. According to the latest ruling as of August 2021, the Southern District Court of Texas has stated an employer may require vaccination as a term of employment.
Unless there are big legal changes on the horizon, for now, mandatory vaccinations to hold gainful employment are legally sound. It is expected that more and more employers, especially those that hire for government positions, will start requiring vaccination before anyone clocks in.
To learn more about this ongoing story, we once again encourage you to click here and watch the News 4 SA piece featuring Attorney Byron Miller. If you have legal concerns about a personal injury, medical malpractice, or nursing home neglect case in San Antonio or the surrounding area, then we invite you to contact our firm today and see how we can help you.