With more employers enacting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies — and OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring many companies to have these policies in place by January — some employees are going to extreme measures to get out of it.
Many workers try to avoid vaccination mandates by citing religious beliefs or medical conditions that prevent them from receiving the shot, but a more devious method has been cropping up more and more.
$200 a card
Fake vaccination cards are on the rise. Anti-vax employees are willing to do a lot to avoid getting the shot, including paying several hundred dollars for false documentation.
Recently, a New Jersey woman was caught selling fake vaccination cards on Instagram for $200. For an extra $250, her “customers” could get their names added to their state vaccination database to make their vaccination status look even more legitimate.
While fake vaccination card sellers exist, many people are making them on their own — and the consequences of a $5,000 fine or five years in prison aren’t stopping them.
How to spot a fake
Employers are going to have to be hyper-vigilant for these fakes. But how can you tell if the vaccination card is legit or not? Here are some things to look for, courtesy of employment law attorney Kevin Troutman of the firm Fisher Phillips.
A card may be fake if:
- there’s no vaccination lot number or date
- things are misspelled
- there are inconsistent dates between doses
- there’s an unfamiliar provider name
- the card is on regular paper
- the card appears to be cut by scissors, and
- the card is completely printed instead of partially handwritten.
If you discover an employee has provided you with a fake vaccination card, it’s up to you to decide what level of discipline is appropriate. Many employers decide to terminate any offenders to show other employees the severity of the issue.