The EEOC issued significant new guidance today covering workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies and practices. Click Here to View. The EEOC’s new guidance answers several of the frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination policies.
Some of the most notable answers in the new EEOC guidance include the following:
- Employers can require all employees who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to the obligation to make reasonable religious and medical accommodations.
- Employers can offer incentives to employees who confirm that they are vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to the obligation to keep that information confidential under ADA.
- Employers can set up programs to administer vaccines to their employees, and employers can offer incentives to employees who participate in the programs. Employers cannot, however, pressure or coerce employees to participate in these programs, which could involve disclosing protected medical information in response to pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions.
- Employers can provide employees and their family members with educational materials regarding COVID-19 vaccines, including the materials available through the EEOC and other federal agencies.
Notably, the EEOC’s guidance only covers federal EEO laws. Employers still must consider other federal laws and state and local laws when implementing COVID-19 vaccination policies and practices.
Although the new EEOC guidance answers a number of important questions for now, the EEOC noted that further updates will follow as new developments occur.