By POE’s Legal Team
Recently, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) distributed a sample COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Survey to school districts in order to help Oklahoma public health officials gauge how many vaccines will be needed when teachers soon become eligible to receive the vaccine. The OSSBA has clarified that the personally identifiable information in the survey will be for district use only.
Many of you have contacted the legal team regarding this survey. Now, if you are not comfortable completing the survey, you could refrain from filling it out and wait for the District’s response. It is unlikely that the District can make this survey a requirement because it is not a condition of your employment to fill out a survey.
However, please note that your employer generally can ask for medical information, but they are required to keep any information given to them confidential. So, it would not be a violation of any rights to simply ask the questions in the survey, but your District could not disclose names/answers without your consent. Certainly, you can additionally ask to confirm that your answers and/or personal information will remain confidential if this is a concern for you.
If you are not planning on getting the vaccine, at this point, it does not seem likely that our state will make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory or a requirement for employment. Currently, every guideline coming from the federal and state government has stated that the vaccine is voluntary. We do not foresee this scenario where a COVID-19 vaccine becomes mandatory for all teachers in the near future. However, we are monitoring the news and all information regarding vaccine distribution and will update all POE members when there is more information on this issue.