Today the EEOC updated its guidance surrounding COVID-19 and vaccinations in the publication titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” In its most recent update, the EEOC has added questions and answers to help employers navigate the new COVID-19 vaccine.
The questions are added as a new Section K. Vaccinations, and include numbers K.1 – K.9. The EEOC clarifies that while employers may be able to require a vaccine (depending upon the workplace and whether the employer can establish a safety threat) they must remember to engage in the interactive process with all employees who refuse the vaccine due to religious or disability reasons. The EEOC stresses that employees who are unable to get the vaccine due to religious beliefs or disability cannot simply be terminated—first the employer must rule out whether accommodations, including teleworking, can be offered. The EEOC also addresses when GINA and the ADA may apply to employer pre-vaccination medical screening questions.
The full guidance can be found here.