Q: Can my employer or the school I attend request my vaccination status? Is that a violation of my rights? What about HIPAA?
HIPAA applies to covered entities, meaning healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and their business associates. If an employer is not considered a covered entity HIPAA rules do not apply and it is not a HIPAA violation for employers to request vaccination status of their employees. According to guidance from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers can request vaccination status from their employees, but must keep the information confidential. Schools also have the right to request vaccination status and historically have required student immunization records. These records are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Response by Jennifer Woods, Esq., Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Associate Director, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists