What Beauty Pros Need To Know About Vaccine Mandates

Here’s what beauty companies need to know about the state of COVID-19 vaccination mandates for private businesses.


Legislation about COVID-19 vaccines and testing is becoming more and more complicated as the nation’s recovery efforts evolve. From executive orders at the federal level to local, city, and state mandates, it can be difficult to navigate the responsibility that independent businesses must assume in a post-pandemic world. We created this resource to help salon, spa, and beauty business owners identify whether or not they are required by law to mandate that either staff or customers show proof of vaccination.

Federal Mandates

In September 2021, President Biden announced a federal vaccine mandate in an attempt to ramp up nationwide COVID recovery efforts. Although most of the new plan focuses on healthcare workers, government employees, and federal contractors, it also applies to businesses with 100 or more employees. 

All affected companies (outside the world of government) must mandate either proof of vaccination or weekly COVID testing for all their employees, with a few notable exceptions due to concerns like medical risks and religious beliefs. The new mandates do not require customers or patrons of those businesses to show proof of vaccination, though.

Mandates on Personal Care Businesses

New rules for personal care businesses will take effect in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood area starting on October 11, 2021. Both customers and employees will be required to show proof of vaccination to gain access to indoor areas of personal care businesses, in addition to the more commonly mentioned venues, like those that serve food and drinks and health and fitness facilities.

Although no localities have followed West Hollywood’s lead in responding specifically to personal care businesses, many city councils across the country have approved vaccine mandates for municipal workers and city-owned buildings. 

Bigger cities like New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco have mandated proof of vaccination for patrons visiting certain indoor businesses (like restaurants, bars, and gyms) but do not include personal care businesses in those mandates.

No State-Wide Mandates for Private Businesses

As of September 21, 2020 the following states do not require private businesses to mandate that their employees are vaccinated. Some cities and smaller localities have their own rules, though, and case rates and legislations (at every level) are changing constantly. Make sure to check with your local, city, and state governments to determine whether or not you need to mandate that your beauty business employees are vaccinated. 

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Arizona: Private businesses are permitted to require their employees to provide COVID-19 vaccination status, but SB 1824 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill does allow health care institutions to require their employees to be vaccinated.

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • District of Columbia

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • Mississippi

  • Missouri

  • Nebraska

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • New Mexico

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • South Carolina

  • South Dakota

  • Tennessee

  • Vermont

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

State-Wide Bans on Mandates for Private Businesses

In some states, requiring privately owned businesses to mandate vaccination among their employees is now against the law. As of September 21, 2021, these are the states that have banned vaccination mandates for private businesses: 

  • Montana: HB 702 prohibits employment discrimination based on vaccination status, and prohibits the requirement of vaccines that are actively undergoing safety trials or have received emergency use authorization status.

  • North Dakota: HB 1465 prohibits the state government from requiring private businesses to obtain proof of vaccination or pathogen, antigen, or antibody testing.

  • Texas: Executive Order GA-40 bans any private business from requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof from employees or customers who object based on religious beliefs or medical reasons.

  • Utah: Utah Code 26-68-101 states that the government cannot mandate emergency COVID-19 vaccines except for individuals who are both acting in a public health/medical setting and required to receive the vaccine in order to perform the duties of their job.

Organizations like the National Academy for State Health Policy and Littler update their websites constantly as legislation changes state by state. Check in with those helpful resources and follow the official news in your region to determine the best way to handle your beauty business’ vaccination policy.

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