Will employers be allowed to have access to this sensitive information and how will that have an impact on employment law?
The businesses that have been affected by the vaccine the most are those that require an indoor business model. Businesses that weren’t affected much include construction, farming, and companies with delivery services, by way of example. I expect that businesses that were impacted significantly but could bounce back pretty quickly as it becomes safe to lift restrictions are certain retail-related businesses and the services industry.
However, a good number of businesses have decided that a retail model no longer is a good model to continue. It isn’t limited to smaller business, but also includes the chain stores that historically have big retail locations. Many people may have permanently changed their methods of purchasing in favor of the delivery of products to their homes or businesses. But far and away the biggest sector impacted has been hospitality, including travel, hotels, resorts, vacation-related entities, even companies that set up trips for people.
In the United States, the issue of privacy law is pretty clear; we don’t have strong privacy protections here compared to other countries. California has some privacy protections that are similar to the EU, except the law has not taken effect in every segment, for example among employers. It will be a couple of years before that law is fully in effect. The bottom line is that employers can require proof of vaccination, vaccination cards or a vaccination test results. But if the employer requires vaccination or they view documentation of vaccination or even ask about it, that information is considered medical information and it has to be kept confidential on a need-to-know basis.