Employers can mandate that workers receive the COVID-19 vaccination, although there are some pros and cons. Late last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offered some guidelines for employers. Briefly, the EEOC says:
- While employers can mandate vaccinations, they must still comply with reasonable accommodation provisions of the American with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Reasonable accommodations include asking workers to wear a face mask, work/function at a social distance from others, work a modified shift, undergo periodic COVID tests, and/or be able to work remotely.
- Employers can’t apply a vaccination requirement in a way that treats employees differently based on disabilities, race, religion, or other factors.
- Employers aren’t prevented or limited from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation/confirmation of vaccinations from third parties (such as a pharmacy). If employers get this information, it must be kept confidential.
- Employers can provide employees and family members with information to educate them about the COVID vaccination and its benefits.