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COVID Vaccine Laws: What You Need to Know

The TDA team includes experts in legal and regulatory issues whose knowledge helps Texas dentists. TDA’s legal counsel recently analyzed Senate Bill 968—the state’s COVID-19 vaccine bill—so you don’t have to. TDA’s legal and regulatory support saves you time and money.

SB 968, effective as of June 16, 2021, does not prevent you from asking your team members about their COVID-19 vaccine status, or requiring all of your team members to be vaccinated.

Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recently updated COVID-19 guidance states that asking for proof of a team member’s vaccination status is not a disability-related inquiry and is permitted under federal disability discrimination law. However, the EEOC cautions that asking an employee about the reasons for declining vaccination could require the employee to reveal information about a disability. The employer dentist will need to show that such questions were "job-related and consistent with business necessity." Dentist employers should warn employees not to provide any medical information as part of the proof of vaccination.

Regarding patients, you are prevented from asking patients about their vaccine status as part of your COVID-19 patient screening process. You can ask patients whether they have been vaccinated when completing and updating the patient’s required medical history and limited physical evaluation.

If you’re a TDA member and you have questions about complying with regulations in your practice, you can call or email us. Individualized regulatory help is a benefit we offer our members. Visit https://www.tda.org/member-center/personalized-insurance-regulatory-help for more info.
 
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