Can I require my employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test before they can return to work?

The short answer is yes, as long as you pay for it and the employees’ time getting it, and you do not discriminate.  The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) oversees this area of California employment law, and the DFEH recently clarified that employers may mandate vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Employers may request proof of vaccination but must take steps to protect employee privacy. There are wage and hour implications with a mandatory vaccination policy, so be sure to work with your employment counsel before implementing such a policy.