Don’t Get Pricked by Anything But The Vaccine

Covid 19

Let’s face it, employers have enough to worry about without the added layer of mask and vaccine mandate confusion. 

Here are the most common legal questions I get from employers:

  1. Can I require my employees to get vaccinated? Yes
  2. Can I require my employees to provide proof of vaccination? Yes
  3. Can I require my employees to wear a mask? Yes
  4. Can I require customers to be vaccinated to come inside my business? Yes
  5. Can I require customers to provide proof of vaccination before entering my business? Yes
  6. Can I require my customers to wear a mask? Yes

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Although the FDA has now only fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, such FDA approval is not a requirement to implement or enforce a vaccine mandate. It does, however, provide greater support for the government’s issuance of mandates, which is subject to a different standard than mandates imposed by private business.


As always, there are fact-specific exceptions that may apply and some precautions you should take. For instance, if an employee has a medical condition confirmed by a doctor or has a sincerely held religious belief that prevents the employee from being vaccinated, you must at least discuss and determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that can be provided without compromising the safety of others.


If you require your employees to be vaccinated and/or wear a mask, you should have a written policy and a written vaccination status form. If you also require proof of vaccination from your employees, make sure copies of the vaccination cards, and any other employee medical information, are stored in a confidential and secure location.


As to customers, it’s pretty much the same. However, there is an added level of complexity given the hostile reaction by some customers to any type of mask or vaccine requirement. Although more of a PR and customer service issue than a legal one, to provide as much support to your employees as possible, if you implement a mask or vaccine requirement for customers, you should also have a written policy for your employees that defines the rules and provides some information and tips so that your employees know how to respond if faced with a hostile customer.


NextGen Counsel can help craft a policy that works for your business and prepare the forms you need to best implement your policy.

The legal landscape of COVID-19 related issues is rapidly changing. The information contained in this post may no longer be accurate and its continued presence on this website does not mean the information is current


Information contained in this post is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the with Michael H. Ansell, Esq., or other competent legal counsel.

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Michael Ansell, Esq.

Michael Ansell is the founder and managing member of NextGen Counsel LLC. Throughout his years in practice, Michael focused on a variety of areas that impact small businesses, including contracts, employment, commercial leasing, corporate governance, construction, and general litigation.

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