On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID related guidance: “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” to address whether incentivizing employees to vaccinate complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
The following are key updates:
- Employers may require employees physically returning to work to be vaccinated for COVID-19 if the employer accommodates qualifying religious and medical objections.
- Employers may provide incentives to their employees to voluntarily provide proof of vaccination. Employers must keep all vaccine related medical information confidential.
- Employers who offer the vaccine directly to employees may provide incentives for employees to receive the vaccination, but the incentives cannot be “coercive.” This means that employers cannot offer incentives so significant that it would make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information. At this time, the EEOC has not specifically defined what it considers a “coercive” incentive.
Because this area of the law is developing, we encourage you to consult with an attorney if you are considering mandating vaccinations or offering vaccination incentives.
If you have additional questions about the EEOC Guidance or other labor & employment issues related to COVID-19, feel free to contact Jeffery Wells at JWells@williamskastner.com or Jessica Cox (Jcox@williamskastner.com) or visit our COVID-19 Resource Center Page. at or visit our COVID-19 Resource Center Page.