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VERIFY: Is it a HIPAA violation for your employer to ask your vaccination status?

Is it a HIPAA violation for your employer to ask if you are vaccinated against COVID-19?

COLUMBUS, Ohio — You might have seen a claim online that said your employer or your coworkers cannot ask you whether you're vaccinated because of the HIPAA federal privacy law.

So we're verifying, Is it a HIPAA violation for your employer to ask if you are vaccinated against COVID-19?

Mark Landes, labor and employment attorney at Isaac Wiles, said the answer is pretty simple.

"The employer, the restaurants, your nail salon, your barber, they're all able to ask if you've been vaccinated. They're not covered by HIPAA. It's not a violation and you don't have to answer either," Landes explains.

HIPAA only applies to specific health-related entities, such as insurance providers, doctors and hospitals.

Landes also said that if you're applying for a job, you can be turned down based on your vaccination status.

"If the employer asks you if you've been vaccinated as part of the employment process and you say you've not been vaccinated, the employer can decide not to hire you on that basis. If they don't know anything about you, your medical status or religious status, they can't really discriminate on that basis because they don't know about it," Landes said.

We can Verify that it is NOT a HIPAA violation for your employer to ask if you are vaccinated against COVID-19.