In late May, the EEOC issued updated guidance for employment policies regarding the COVID vaccine in the workplace. Here are some of the major highlights:
1. As a general rule, employers can mandate employees receive the shot before allowing access to the workplace. However, they still have a duty to engage in the interactive process with employees who have medical or religious objections. The EEOC further encouraged employers to assess how a mandatory vaccine policy may disproportionately impact different demographics of employees based on race, gender, sex, age, national origin and religion.
2. Employers can inquire as to whether employees are vaccinated, the date and type of vaccine administered, without running afoul of the ADA’s prohibition of medical inquiries. However, any employee vaccination records must be kept confidential as medical information under the ADA.
3. Employers are obligated to engage in the interactive process to seek reasonable accommodations for fully vaccinated employees, if they have an underlying condition that may make the vaccine less effective for them, including pregnancy.
If you have a question about how COVID has affected your workplace, contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation with an employment attorney.