Mask Madness: Managing the CDC's New Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals





As of this month, Oregon allows people to go maskless outside. The state also allows fully vaccinated people to forgo masks in most indoor spaces if their inoculation status can be verified, putting the onus on businesses, employers and faith institutions to check vaccination records. The new guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that fully vaccinated people generally do not need to wear masks or maintain physical distance in most public settings.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that requiring an employee to disclose their vaccination status is not a medical inquiry under the ADA and is permissible. Employers may also legally request proof of vaccination, such as the CDC-issued vaccine card. However, employers must be careful not to request additional information, such as an explanation of why an employee has not received the vaccine, to avoid running afoul of the ADA.


Meanwhile, not all are convinced that Governor Brown’s approach is legal; a conservative group called Freedom Foundation recently sent a letter to Governor Brown demanding that she lift the vaccine status check requirement. The letter also came with the threat of a lawsuit. The group argues that requiring vaccine verification of people entering businesses and other venues, including churches, without a mask is unconstitutional and unnecessary. Employers and businesses are treading carefully, and many are simply continuing to require mask use indoors. Read more here.