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Will A CA City's Vaccine 'Sticker Policy' Violate Privacy Rights?

A COVID vaccine station at a hospital is labeled #4 and includes red plastic box for medical waste.
Montclair workers will soon receive stickers to place on their employee badges verifying they have been vaccinated.
(Chava Sanchez
LAist )
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City workers in Montclair who can show that they're fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will get a sticker to put on their employee badges — and that's raising some questions.

Some in the San Bernardino County city of about 40,000 residents say that the new element in the masking policy for city workers is a violation of privacy — and could even open the city up to a lawsuit.

City Manager Edward Starr came up with the idea. He noted that city workers aren't required to disclose their vaccination status.

"They don't need to show the card to anybody except when perhaps they're challenged by a supervisor. They can keep their ID card in their pocket, which many do," said Starr.

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Under current Cal-OSHA workplace rules, those who don't disclose their vaccine status, or say they're not vaccinated, still have to mask up around other people.

Starr says the sticker will help city staffers identify those who need to wear a mask or not.

A member of the Montclair city council recently took issue with the policy, saying it could breach medical privacy laws, but Starr said he and the city attorney both disagree.

"Federal law, particularly the ADA, does not suggest that this in any way reveals a medical condition, nor does it reveal a disability, so it does not create a liability in that regard," Starr said.

One important note: Montclair city workers will not be required to put the sticker on their ID cards, but it's strongly encouraged. The policy will take effect on Monday.

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