The National Association of Home Builders says it’s important members stay up to date on the most recent information regarding COVID-19 vaccines and safety guidelines for the workplace. Here’s what the association says you should know: Most recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance indoors or outdoors, unless otherwise required by jurisdictions and businesses. And when it comes to vaccinations, employers can legally require it with some exceptions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or religious objections.
In addition, the EEOC is clear that employers can ask if an employee has been vaccinated. However, if the employee says they have not received a vaccine, the employer cannot ask why not. Employers also cannot ask employees medical questions about family members. Further, employers must keep employee vaccine information confidential.
Important Recent Developments for Home Building Businesses
The sudden CDC announcement also caught other government agencies off guard. OSHA is currently deferring to the new CDC guidance for jobsite rules, noting that it is “reviewing the recent CDC guidance and will update materials on [its] website accordingly.” But there has been a recent positive development from OSHA in this area.
OSHA had initially signaled that it would require the construction industry to record adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines under its 29 CFR 1904 Occupational Injuries and Illnesses recordkeeping requirements. After NAHB and Construction Industry Safety Coalition partners sent a letter and held discussions with key OSHA staff, noting that this requirement might deter vaccinations in the industry, OSHA backed off the requirement and noted that it will not enforce it until May 2022.