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COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT

Updated 08/13/2021

Due to the rise of COVID infection rates and our concern for the health of our employees and customers, Cox Farms will require that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start of the season. Employees that are unable or unwilling to get the vaccine (regardless of reason) will need to submit negative test results on a weekly basis in order to continue working. Anyone who is not vaccinated and does not provide weekly test results will not be eligible to work at Cox Farms for the 2021 Fall season.


WAIT, this is new. Earlier this summer, you said that vaccination would not be required.

Yes, this announcement reflects a change made August 12, 2021. The COVID-19 situation has changed drastically in recent weeks, and we are responding accordingly. Believe us, we did not want to be making this decision, and we didn’t think we were going to need to a month ago. But this pandemic is constantly changing, and we need to change accordingly to keep everyone safe.

OKAY, I’m vaccinated. Do I need to do anything?

Great! Please make sure the employee site reflects your vaccination status, and send us proof of vaccination. You can text a photo of your vaccination card to (703) 829-5498 or email to working@coxfarms.com. Or, if you prefer, bring the original document to your orientation. We know that this is private health information and it will be handled accordingly, shared only with HR and management as appropriate.

I’m not vaccinated yet, but I am willing to get the vaccine if it is required. What does this mean for me?

GREAT! The good news is that there is still time for employees to get vaccinated, but you’ll have to act fast! If you get your first shot by this weekend, you should be able to get your second shot two weeks before our season begins. Once you get your final shot, send proof of vaccination to working@coxfarms.comor text it to (703) 829-5498.  

Find a vaccine: https://www.vaccines.gov/

https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/vaccine

At the start of the season, I will be partially vaccinated but not yet considered fully vaccinated (two weeks post-second/final shot). What does this mean for me?

It depends on whether you have received your final shot. Because this change is being announced so late, we will make an exception to the testing requirement as long as you have received your final dose (and provided proof of vaccination) prior to the start of the season. This means that as long as you have gotten your second shot by the time your first shift rolls around, then you will not need to provide a negative test result. If you have not received your second shot by the start of the season, then you will need to provide weekly negative test results until you are fully vaccinated.

Until you are fully vaccinated, you will need to get a COVID-19 test weekly on Thursday or Friday and provide the results before you start working. Your negative test result from a Thursday or Friday will allow you to work that Friday through Monday. Once you are fully vaccinated, provide us with proof of vaccination status (text a photo of your proof to (703) 829-5498 or email to working@coxfarms.com) and then you will no longer need to provide test results.

I am not able/willing to get vaccinated, but I still want to work this fall.  What does this mean for me?

You will need to get a COVID-19 test weekly on Thursday or Friday and provide the results before you start working. Your negative test result from a Thursday or Friday will allow you to work that Friday through Monday. This will need to continue through the season. If you are unvaccinated and fail to provide your weekly test results, you will not be permitted to work, resulting in suspension without pay or termination of employment.

The good news is that there are lots of easy local options for rapid tests, including free drive-through appointments and even home test kits. In line with CDC recommendations, unvaccinated employees will also be subject to different policies regarding quarantine, known exposures, etc. The link below provides information about local sites and at-home testing.

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/

I am not able/willing to get vaccinated, and I really hate your decision. I don’t want to work somewhere with that kind of policy, so I’m no longer interested in working this fall.

Okay. We’re sad to see you go, but we respect everyone’s right to make this decision for themselves, and we know this decision won’t make everyone happy. Please email working@coxfarms.comwith "DECLINE EMPLOYMENT” in the subject line to let us know that you will not be working this fall. We hope to see you back in future seasons, once the COVID pandemic is under control!

This is discrimination! Can you do this? Is this even legal? Isn’t it a HIPAA violation to ask me my vaccination status?

This is not a decision we wanted to have to make. Safety is our first Key, and keeping our employees and customers as safe as possible is our highest priority. Considering the current circumstances, we feel this is the best option to do that.

This policy is legal, and it is not a HIPAA violation or discrimination. It is not discrimination because we do not ask or assess WHY you are not vaccinated, and we provide ALL employees with the option of providing weekly test results as an alternative to getting vaccinated.

There are tons of resources out there breaking all of this down, but here is one great resource with more information about COVID, HIPAA, and legal issues: https://www.hipaajournal.com/is-it-a-hipaa-violation-to-ask-for-proof-of-vaccine-status/.

Note: We understand that there are lots of reasons that individuals may not be vaccinated. We recognize that folks from marginalized communities have legitimate reasons to be suspicious of the mainstream, white-centered medical establishment, and that such reservations may be driving personal decisions about whether to get vaccinated. Our policy is "no questions asked,” no explanation involved, so no one has to defend themselves or their decision. All employees are welcome on our team this fall, regardless of vaccination status, but there will be an additional step each week for non-vaccinated employees.