Can businesses refuse service to customers who don’t have vaccine proof?

If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says you no longer have to wear a mask in most situations. But how can businesses tell who has had the shot and who hasn't?

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says you no longer have to wear a mask in most situations.

But how can businesses tell who has had the shot and who hasn’t?

Attorney Vince Powers says businesses have the ability to ask customers if they have been vaccinated and refuse service if they haven’t, but he doesn’t anticipate many will do that.

“Certainly, anyone can ask any question,” Powers said. “If you’re a restaurant or a bar, you can say, ‘Hey, we would prefer that our customers be vaccinated.’ I don’t think the owners will do that. Just from an economic standpoint, people aren’t going to like that.”

Amy Tabor, who is the general manager of the Open Harvest Co-Op grocery store, says masks will be strongly encouraged, but not required, even when the mask mandate is up.

“We really appreciate when customers provide the courtesy to us to follow a very simple guideline to help keep us safe and our family safe when we’re on the front lines every single day,” Tabor said.

Will the Co-Op require proof of vaccination from customers?

“Absolutely not,” Tabor said. “We are not the vaccine police. We don’t want to be the mask police. That’s been tough enough as it is. We will not be checking people’s vax cards. Absolutely not.”

How about employers? Can they fire an employee for not getting the vaccine?

Powers explains in an at-will state like Nebraska, employees who are not members of a union or don’t have a written contract, can be fired for anything or nothing at all, as long as employers don’t discriminate on the basis of race, sex or other statuses.

“I think most employers will urge the need and greatly ask them to and I think other employers will have motivations, such as ‘We’re giving the day off, we’ll give you some type of benefit.'”

Tabor says many of her staffers at the Co-Op elected to get the vaccine, but were not required to do so.

“We’re definitely encouraging it, but not requiring it,” she said.

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, Nebraska News, News