North Carolina Company, CastleBranch, Implements COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
Policy Navigates Complex Web of Regulations to Also Accommodate Those Unable to Receive the Vaccine
April 28, 2021
WILMINGTON, NC—CastleBranch, one of the premier employers in southeastern North Carolina, has announced a vaccine requirement for its 500 team members, helping to protect its community from the threat of COVID-19 while providing support and accommodations to those who can’t be vaccinated for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. The policy is being implemented to help protect team members, and the greater Wilmington community, during the pandemic, while still demonstrating compassion for those unable to receive the vaccine.
Implementing a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for any company can be complex, demanding compliance with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s (EEOC) guidance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and requires a process that allows for vaccine exemptions and reasonable accommodations for those who are unable to receive the vaccine. Employers who fail to comply with these regulations, or to include a process for vaccine waivers, can face substantial legal liability, explained David Parker, former Interim Vice Chancellor and General Counsel for UNC–Chapel Hill and member of the Infectious Disease Council.
“Employers are legally entitled to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and in some sectors public health needs make doing so a critical necessity,” Parker said. “But the law also requires accommodation of medical conditions and religious or, in some states, philosophical beliefs that make vaccines unacceptable for some employees.”
To implement the vaccination requirement, CastleBranch will rely on its own RealVaccinationID.com cards, which will enable team members to show proof of vaccination status — or communicate a waiver request – both at work and to other members of the community. For employers, including CastleBranch itself, the card acts as an equal–opportunity COVID-19 vaccine credentialing system. The two–card structure adheres to regulatory guidance for exemptions, and helps to prevent discrimination lawsuits that employers enacting vaccine requirements may be vulnerable to.
Available to CastleBranch team members at no cost, the Real Vaccination ID is a discreet, driver’s license–sized card that contains the cardholder’s name, date of birth, address, photo and vaccination or waiver status. A QR code and unique access code on the back of the card allows the cardholder to present their primary–source vaccination or waiver documents upon request – but only with the cardholder’s express permission and consent. All cardholders will retain complete ownership and control over their own personal, private data. Cards can be used to show vaccination status at CastleBranch headquarters, or at any other location or establishment by the individual cardholder.
“We’re working to protect our people – to protect our homes, our businesses and our community,” said Brett Martin, CEO of CastleBranch. “The new normal under COVID-19 has made that complex, but not impossible. We’ve found a path through the storm that will keep our people safe, keep their private information in their hands, and keep us moving forward as we reemerge from the pandemic.”
For more information, visit www.RealVaccinationID.com.
Media Contact: Daniel Schechtman, CastleBranch Director of Communications
Located in Wilmington, N.C., CastleBranch is a compliance management and infectious disease screening company serving over 17,700 healthcare programs, tens of millions of individuals, and tens of thousands of employers, schools and healthcare facilities nationwide by verifying identity, tracking over 35 million medical documents, and helping individuals transition to and through professional life. CastleBranch has 20+ years of experience, employs over 500 team members and has a long track record of providing innovative solutions for complex problems.