Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Asking for proof is legal

It is starting: Due to the lifted restrictions by the CDC on mask wearing by vaccinated people, social media posts are stating that it is a violation of federal HIPAA laws to ask a person if they have been vaccinated or asking a person to see their vaccination card.

It is NOT.

There is nothing in HIPAA that bars people from asking that question or requiring proof.

Under federal laws, there are very few, if any, situations in which businesses, airlines, employers, schools and even those covered by HIPAA are prohibited from asking you to share your vaccination status or show your vaccination card.

Employers are also legally allowed to ask or require proof of vaccination from employees.

Federal laws don’t prohibit private businesses that serve the public from requiring workers and customers to be vaccinated, as long as they don’t discriminate against medical or religious exemptions.

I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing new signs on the front doors of private businesses saying, “No shirt, no shoes, no vaccine, no service” or something along the line of “Please be ready to show your vaccination card upon entering this establishment” sometime in the near future.

This is not discrimination, although the wacky world of social media and other “on the fringe” media outlets will call it as such. No, it is not.

Just get vaccinated, or just don’t get offended when you cannot board an airplane, stop into a convenience store or go out to eat at a restaurant because you cannot show proof that you have been vaccinated.

Jason Ernsting

Nine Mile Falls


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430