Bob Horton Discusses Legal Options for Employers When Employees Lie About Vaccination Status

May 11, 2021
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Bob Horton shared insights in an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) outlining employer options when employees are not truthful about their COVID-19 vaccination status. Bob discussed employers potential exposure to lawsuits – particularly for unlawful discrimination – when companies are not consistent with their response when they suspect an employee to be lying about having been vaccinated.

“Employers should be thoughtful and careful about whether they are able to articulate a reasonable objective basis for the suspicion such as an employee is overheard stating that he or she forged a vaccination card,” Bob said.

If the employer believes it has an objective basis for suspicion, the next challenge is verification – noting that the EEOC states that requiring a proof of vaccination does not violate employees’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

However, as Bob points out, some states are prohibiting vaccine passports.

The full article, “Disciplining Workers for Lies About Vaccinations,” was published by SHRM on May 4 and is available online.