Team members at the Universal Orlando Resort will soon have to tell the company whether or not they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
An email purportedly sent to Universal employees this week was shared on Twitter warning team members of the change.
some people are about to get got real quick pic.twitter.com/LCII7cY5Wj
— promising young woman (@anomalypop) August 11, 2021
Universal spokesperson Tom Schroeder confirmed the new policy in an email to Theme Park Tribune on Thursday, stating:
“We are urging all our team members to be vaccinated, if they are able to do so. And, we have let our team members know we will require them to share their vaccination status with us. This will allow us to better ensure adherence with our strict health and safety protocols. We will be sharing additional details with our team members soon.”
It is legal for employers to ask about their employees’ vaccination status. “There are no laws on that,” Jacksonville labor attorney Tad Delegal told WJXT. “Employers can require employees to be vaccinated, and there are some exceptions if there was a true concern about disabilities.”
Contrary to some online misinformation, asking about an employee’s vaccination status is not a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. That law only deals with protecting a patient’s health information from being shared without their consent by health care providers and related entities. Being asked about your vaccination status isn’t covered by HIPAA.
Universal is not going as far as its rival Disney World, which recently mandated that non-union employees at the resort be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. The resort is currently negotiating with unions to have the same mandate cover unionized workers.