If you spend any time on social media, you have likely seen comments like this one: "If my boss asks if I have been vaccinated, I'll sue him for a violation of HIPPA laws."

Don't count on it. HIPPA laws generally only apply to the healthcare industry, including doctors, hospitals, clinics or other medical facilities and medical workers.

Some have suggested rules set by the Americans with Disabilities Act might apply. Also no. Guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states asking an employee to provide proof of vaccination would not violate the ADA.

Just two days after Gov. Phil Murphy said employees at non-public worksheets would still need to mask up and practice social distancing, he reversed course under pressure from individual employers and business groups.

Under a new executive order, Murphy says if you can prove to your employer that you have been fully vaccinated, you can ditch the mask and social distancing. It is the first order Murphy has issued that involves any type of vaccine proof be provided.

In lifting the indoor mask mandate for public spaces and businesses like bars, restaurants, and retail stores, Murphy did not limit the privilege to only the vaccinated. His no-mask order applied to vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. He did allow those establishments to continue to require masks if they wish.

This is, however, new territory and the issue of providing vaccine status is likely to be tested in court eventually. Just because you refuse to get vaccinated or refuse to provide proof of vaccination status also does not mean you can be immediately be fired.

Guidance from the EEOC states "reasonable accommodations" should be provided. That could include the option to wear a mask and socially distance, and employers "will need to determine if any other rights apply under the EEO laws or other federal, state, and local authorities."

However, the EEOC also states: "If an employee cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, and there is no reasonable accommodation possible, then it would be lawful for the employer to exclude the employee from the workplace."

When lawsuits are brought under the ADA it is often over what defines "reasonable accommodations."

More NJ Top News for May 27:

Best spots to pick your own NJ strawberries in 2021

Deadly South Jersey house party shooting

A man and woman were killed in a mass shooting at a house party in Cumberland County that left a dozen others hurt, one critically, State Police said. Just before midnight on Saturday, May 22, troopers responded to reports of multiple shots fire at a home in Fairfield Township.

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