Many cities across the country are starting to lift COVID-19 mandates, allowing businesses to reopen their office doors. However, there will be a few hurdles employees will need to jump as things go back to normal. One of the most common questions that employees are having as COVID-19 mandates change is if they will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Our federal employment law attorneys explain everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace.
Will COVID-19 Vaccinations Be Mandatory?
In short – it depends. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says EEO laws do not prohibit employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but other laws outside its purview should also be considered.
Employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations as long as they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) reasonable accommodation provisions and other EEO laws.
Although there may be other laws that limit a company’s ability to mandate vaccinations, businesses should be aware of the following EEOC implications:
Voluntary Vaccination Programs
Under the ADA, employers can require employees to meet qualification safety standards, therefore requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. Employers can provide voluntary vaccinations, but employers are not allowed to participate in discriminator behavior while providing vaccination from work or a third party.
Reasonable Accommodations or Modifications
Employers may have to provide a reasonable accommodation or modification for employees with disabilities, sincerely held religious beliefs, or pregnancy. However, employees who request a reasonable accommodation may be asked to continue wearing a face mask, participate in social distancing, and work modified shifts.
Asking About Vaccinations Status
EEO laws do not prevent employers from asking employees to provide proof of vaccination since it is not considered a disability-related inquiry. However, employers are required to keep the information confidential.
If your employer has failed to provide you with reasonable accommodations related to COVID-19 vaccinations, contact our federal employment law attorneys today at (800) 801-0598. We are here to help you achieve your desired results!