Anyone thought through whether if a staff member declines COVID vaccination whether we should have them sign some form of disclaimer (ie: that it was offered, that we don’t know when they may be able to receive it in the future if they change their minds, as yet unknown implications for their choice…)? If people think the staff should sign something, has anyone come up with a document yet?
I’m interested in this discussion. It seems to me that due to the vaccine not being FDA approved (EUA) that each person should have the right to make their own decision. That being said, they will have to miss work and use their leave time according to employer policy should they need to be quarantined.
I have strongly encouraged my team to get the vaccine and all but one has elected to get it. If that one person ends up having to miss work, leave time will be used and no additional paid time off will be provided.
I have started working on a document for the staff member who has declined the vaccine. I think we need to have something in writing that outlines that they were offered the opportunity to get vaccinated and that they understand the consequences of their choice. Something similar to what we have parents sign when they decline vaccinations for their child.
I looked around on the internet, but couldn’t find much in the way of this type of document.
Move cautiously here, as the rules and guidance for managing employees and medical requirements can be tricky business. Some guidance:
Thanks Chip for the information.
This may be drastic, but one could make vaccination a requirement for continued employment, just the was some hospitals and schools require proof of immunity.
I would start with empathy.
This is a brand new vaccine in uncertain times.
I’ve already received mine…but I don’t expect my employees to just roll up their sleeves because I believe in it. They are fighting their own internal battles and reading what they will on social media.
Start w/ empathy of understanding where they are at and don’t guilt/shame/threaten
I typed up a quick 2 paragraph waiver. Essentially is states: I was offered this vaccine as an employee through the county dept or health and I am declining at this time. I am aware that this may be my only opportunity as an employee of the practice to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a healthcare worker. I just wanted something that stated that it WAS offered and they DID refuse - just in case 2 years from now they would want to claim us liable for not securing a vaccine for them. We had 5 employees waive the vaccine and all signed without issue/any questions.
The body of the waiver is:
I, __________________________________ (staff/employee name) on ________________________ (date) was offered a Covid-19 Vaccine as a medical professional/staff member/employee of Pediatric Associates of Lancaster through the Fairfield County Department of Health, and choose to decline to receive the immunization/vaccine at this time.
I am aware that any additional opportunity to obtain/acquire a Covid-19 Vaccine as an employee of Pediatric Associates of Lancaster through the Fairfield County Health Department, as a medical professional, may be limited hereafter.
I would like to know what we are trying to accomplish by having the staff signing the form that they declined. Does it mean that if they got COVID they can’t claim Workers Comp? Is that legal?
Hopefully, they would have PTO, they can use it correct? Is they don’t, wouldn’t it go unpaid?
These are difficult times and so many questions. What is the human, or the right things to do?
If we make it required and they have a reaction, is the organization liable?
It is not necessarily a legal thing for us. We are having them sign a declination form as a way of saying we think this is an important vaccine and want you to really think about it before you decline (just like we do for flu). We are not making it mandatory. Definitely can use PTO if out sick for any reason. Possibly workers comp if you can show your WC ins company they indeed did contract it from being at work. No one in my office that has gotten COVID has contracted it through the office. They have all been exposed outside of work. Just my opinion.
We’re finding that 50% staff offered the vaccine via our our local hospital have declined. I remain perplexed. We have been sitting ducks playing Russian roulette since March. We know of patients who have lost parents and grandparents. We have personal stories. Luckily, we have not experienced a work related “exposure” or "(+) test. I was of the belief after all of this (which is on-going “on steroids” in our rural town) that getting a vaccine when it became available was a “no brainer”. WRONG! I am extremely concerned about the liability of offering the “ability” to make a difference besides a mask and 6 feet and the ongoing risks associated with asymptomatic spread:(
A few nursing homes/long care facilities who provide for a large number of clients/resident have gone this route. Our hospital bylaws have the annual flu vaccine as a mandate. We send proof of vaccination.