Can businesses require customers to show proof of vaccine?

Can businesses require customers to show proof of vaccine?


PEORIA (WEEK) — A Peoria attorney said businesses have the right to safety, in this case, requiring a vaccine, but also said there are some cases where a requirement would be illegal. No businesses in Central Illinois have said they’ll require vaccines for customers.

“We haven’t really talked about it or thought about it, we trust people to do their best…I think going forward we’ll deal with whatever comes up as it comes up,” said Julian Bonello, general manager at Cyd’s in the Park.

However, attorney Shaun Cusack said while no business may want to, they do have the ability.

“They have the duty to provide a safe place for people to come dine, drink, whatever, and this is one of those things that is being targeted, and being used to provide a safe place,” said Cusack.

Cusack said businesses have the right to define what safety looks like, if safety is their ultimate goal. However, there are still some cases where vaccines cannot be required by a private business.

“There’s two exceptions…which is a bona fide religious belief, and bona fide health issues…in other words, being vaccinated would be unhealthy or harmful to them,” said Cusack.

But what about HIPAA laws, can’t they protect people from having to disclose their vaccine status?

“…It only deals with a certain entity. Meaning, healthcare providers that are in possession of sensitive information. Doesn’t apply to local businesses, doesn’t apply to anybody, but providers,” he added.

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