Santa Clara County Ordinance Requires Employers to Track Staff Vaccination Status Against COVID-19 (Compliance Required by June 1, 2021) | Newmeyer Dillion
[co-author: Ryan Davis]
For businesses with operations or staff in Santa Clara County, a new Order of the Medical Officer of Health County of Santa Clara requires businesses and government entities to determine whether their “staff” (as defined in the ordinance) are “fully immunized” (also defined in the ordinance) by June 1, 2021, a very tight deadline to comply.
The Order defines personnel broadly to include employees, contractors and sub-contractors, independent contractors, vendors who sell merchandise on site, volunteers, and anyone else who provides on-site services as requested by ‘a company.
The prescription defines “fully vaccinated” as more than two weeks after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. The Ordinance requires companies to treat as unvaccinated all people who (1) are not fully vaccinated, or (2) choose not to disclose their vaccination status. Unvaccinated people should continue to adhere to Mandatory directive on the use of face masks and applicable Santa Clara County provisions Mandatory directive on unvaccinated personnel.
In addition, the Ordinance requires companies to keep adequate records that demonstrate their compliance with the Ordinance. The Order requires companies to document: (1) their investigation of an individual’s immunization status; and (2) whether an individual is “fully vaccinated” (as defined in the order).
After June 1, companies are required to update their staff’s vaccination status at two-week intervals (June 15, June 29, July 13, etc.) for people who were not previously determined as being fully vaccinated. Companies are required to keep records to demonstrate continued compliance with this provision.
Santa Clara County provided a form template for companies to certify the immunization status of individuals.
Failure to comply with the order is a criminal offense and could subject companies to jail time and fines of up to $ 5,000 for each day of violation. Businesses should consult with a lawyer when formulating policies to comply with the order in light of the potential penalties, the short timeframe for compliance, and the broad definition of the term “personnel.”