Santa Clara CA employers must obtain vaccination status, plus
On May 18, 2021, Santa Clara County, California issued a health order which both relieves employers of certain previous requirements related to COVID-19 and imposes new obligations on employers, particularly with regard to the vaccination status of employees. Santa Clara County also issued the “Mandatory directive on the use of face masks” and the “Mandatory directive for unvaccinated personnel. The health ordinance and mandatory directives come into force on May 19, 2021.
The new obligations of the employer of the health ordinance and directives are as follows:
Determine the vaccination status of employees
All employers are required to obtain and record the immunization status of all employees by June 1, 2021. Records may consist of an employee’s vaccination record or a full vaccination self-certification. Employers should ask unvaccinated employees for their status every 14 days. Employees who refuse to answer “should… be treated as unvaccinated”.
Positive employees should inform their employers
Each employer should ask employees to report their positive status to the employer if they worked on site during the infectious period.
Report positive cases to the county public health department
Within 24 hours of finding a positive case locally, an employer must report the information to the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.
Apply mask rules for unvaccinated employees
Employers must enforce mask rules for all unvaccinated employees.
According to the Santa Clara Department of Public Health Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding the order and guidelines, employers are no longer required to maximize telecommuting or “submit social distancing protocols to the county public health department.”
The FAQ also states that Santa Clara County has eliminated the local “mandatory capacity limitation directive”.
COVID-19 employer’s mandates and guidelines are likely to change quickly at the federal, state and local levels. As the Santa Clara County Health Order points out, employers must follow the strictest of orders.
© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 140