- Are you a private membership association? Mandates often do not apply to private membership associations (“PMA”) and so if your business is a PMA or becomes a PMA, you could potentially avoid mandates.
Members of a private membership association are often not bound by requirements applicable to places that are open to the general public. The typical exception to this general rule is when the activities of the private membership associates present a clear and present danger.
- Does your employee or customer require a religious accommodation? Under federal law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to customers and to employees. You may accept religious exemptions to vaccination and should document same.
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against people based on their religion by places of public accommodation. These places include restaurants, hotels, places of entertainment, and more, and they cannot treat people differently for religious beliefs, which can include beliefs against receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Does your employee or customer have a disability that prevents COVID-19 vaccination? Under federal law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to customers and to employees. You may accept medical exemptions to vaccination and should document same.
- What proof of vaccination is required? It may be helpful to understand what proof of vaccination is sufficient to satisfy the mandate. Is one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine sufficient? Does the mandate provide that no actual verification is required? Further, are you required to verify whether proof of vaccination is real?
- To what ages does the mandate apply? As a business owner, be sure you know who you are required to check for vaccination and who you are not required to check.
For example, in New York City, customers aged 12 and up are supposed to be checked for vaccination records but only customer appearing to be 18 years of age and older should also have a proof of identity checked against the vaccination card.
*If you are a business owner and would like assistance with creating policies for a COVID-19 mandate, please fill out the following intake form.