Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued long-awaited guidance regarding the extent to which employers may provide incentives to employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Before today’s guidance was issued, industry groups had asked the EEOC to provide guidance to employers in this area of law. In updated technical guidance, which can be found here, the EEOC has now clarified that because requesting documentation or other confirmation showing that an employee received a COVID-19 vaccination in the community is not a disability-related inquiry covered by the ADA, an employer may offer an incentive to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of a vaccination received in the community. However, if the incentive is given for voluntarily receiving vaccination administered by the employer or the employer’s agent, then the incentive cannot be so substantial to be considered coercive. This is because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions, and a very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information to the employer.
In total, the EEOC today issued more than 20 new pieces of guidance in its technical guidance, all related to COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to review each of them or contact the KYL Employment Group for assistance.