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The EEOC Has Issued COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

RICHARD REICE
JUNE 9, 2021


For employers wondering if they can require their employees to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has spoken. Not only can employers ask for such proof, but they can also incentivize workers to get vaccinated—this according to updated guidance from the EEOC.

The EEOC’s guidance and FAQs on workplace COVID-19 vaccine policies issued on May 28 specify that seeking proof that employees received a vaccination on their own is not a disability-related inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For this reason, employers may offer incentives to employees to roll up their sleeves for shots. That being said, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for workers who decline to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for religious or disability-related reasons.

Regarding incentives, the EEOC also stated that if an employer administers the vaccination to its employees or contracts with a third party to do so, as opposed to seeking after-the-fact confirmation of inoculation, employees will have to answer pre-vaccination, disability-related screening questions. As such, a significant incentive—for example, extra compensation, tickets to concerts or sporting events, or an extra vacation day—could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information. To avoid associated problems, employers should consider using a third-party administrator. They should also make sure that any employee-related health information is maintained in confidence by that third-party and not shared with the employer.

Have questions about COVID-19 vaccine requirements or any other employment-related issue? If so, the employment law specialists at Michelman & Robinson, LLP are here with answers.


We are working diligently to keep our clients up to date on coronavirus-related developments. Nevertheless, these developments are changing daily and, in some cases even hourly, so it is important that you make sure you are dealing with the most current information. That being said, this alert is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for guidance and counsel regarding any specific concern or situation.