SAN JOSE (KPIX) — There’s a growing backlash in the business community in Santa Clara County over a new requirement for employers to collect the vaccination status of their workers.
“I personally don’t think it’s a good idea. And none of my staff thinks it’s a good idea,” says Yolked Restaurant owner Jim Angelopoulos. “They don’t want to do it. They really think it’s an invasion of their privacy. And I shouldn’t have to ask them if they’ve been vaccinated or not.”READ MORE: UPDATE: Cal ISO Extends Flex Alert Into Friday; Bay Area, NorCal Heat Wave May Break Records
The county’s deadline for employers to collect the vaccination status information is June 1. Additionally, some business owners are irked by the requirement to re-check the status of unvaccinated employees every two weeks.
“For an employer to have to go back to their unvaccinated employee every 14 days, it can begin to feel like the employer has become the vaccination police. And at some point, the employee can begin to feel a little harassed,” says Mark Turner, President and CEO of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce.
Public health officials say the vaccination status is relevant information for every employer to have. They say the information will allow employers to insure that all of the appropriate safety measures are in effect in the workplace.READ MORE: Gas Leak In San Francisco's Inner Richmond Prompts Shelter-In-Place, Evacuations
State regulators are developing guidelines for workplace rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
“We’re actually created a form to help employers meet this requirement. One of the options available on the form if for employees if they wish is to decline to provide their status,” said James Williams, the Chief Counsel for Santa Clara County at the press conference announcing the requirement May 18.
Employees who decline to provide their status will be treated as if they are unvaccinated Williams said.MORE NEWS: Oakland's Mills College Looks At Potential Merger With Northeastern University, May Confer Degrees Again
“They feel that they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They think they’re going to get sued by their employees for asking too many questions. And they’re afraid of being fined by the county for not doing what they’re being asked to do,” says former San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis.