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.

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Photo of Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

Brian is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and is named to the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Employment and Labor.

Brian focuses his practice on the representation of management…

Brian is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and is named to the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Employment and Labor.

Brian focuses his practice on the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment litigation. Brian regularly represents employers in litigation before federal and state courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators involving employment discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge, theft of trade secrets, breaches of non-compete agreements and other employment contract topics. Brian also has extensive experience counseling employers on employment topics ranging from FMLA and ADA compliance to reduction in workforce planning and implementation. In the labor relations area, Brian has significant experience in collective bargaining negotiation, union avoidance techniques and strike disputes. Brian has also developed and implemented personnel policies and in-house training programs on a variety of labor and employment law topics.