Anaheim, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Can an employer withhold promotions or raises because an employee is not vaccinated for Covid-19?

My employer violated HIPAA laws by asking why employees didn’t want to get vaccinated. They are telling our general manager they will not give a raise or promotion unless an employee is vaccinated.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes an employer can withhold promotions and raises, and even terminate an employee, who refuses to vaccinate against Covid-19. And it is not a HIPAA violation to ask an employee about why they do not want to vaccinate. HIPAA does not regulate employees, only health care providers and insurance companies. It is possible asking why an employee does not want to vaccinate could violate some employee's medical privacy rights but only if the reason is related to a medical condition that the employee wishes to remain confidential.

Good luck to you.

Brad S Kane and Maya L. Serkova agree with this answer

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