New EEOC Guidance Has Arrived! Key Points Employers Need To Know

Imagine my excitement late Friday when I saw that long-awaited new federal guidance arrived from the Equal Employment Opportunity Center (EEOC). I think I yelped “yay” out loud while trying to peruse the new and updated Technical Assistance Questions and Answers.

I’m not going to bury the ledes; here are some big ticket points:

  • Employers may require all employees physically entering to workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, while continuing to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities and whose sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit the vaccine.
  • Employers may offer incentives to employees only (not to an employee’s family) to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but if an employer offers the vaccine itself, the incentive must not be enough to be “coercive.”

But how much can an employer incentivize its employees to get vaccinated? To what lengths can employers encourage employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, perhaps, provide some guidance there as well? (hint: we covered this last one here.)

Finally, what can an employer do with any information that employees provide about their vaccination status?

Well, friends, my employment law partner Eric Meyer and I covered these topics for you and more in a special 15-minute segment of The Employer Handbook recorded yesterday, and which you can find here:

The EEOC’s guidance does not incorporate the CDC’s recent mask guidance.

I hope this helps you parse through the EEOC’s latest information related to COVID-19 vaccines.

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Amy Epstein Gluck

Amy Epstein Gluck has represented individuals and corporate clients in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and various federal district courts for more than twenty years. Ms. Epstein Gluck’s current practice areas include employment law—advising on and drafting employment agreements; handling employment negotiations, severance agreements, noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, “wrongful terminations” and other EEO matters; representation at the EEOC level; advising employers about discrimination laws and how to remain in compliance, and employment negotiations.