|Vanessa L. Smith
Vantage Legal Solutions P.C.
Leavitt Group Benefits Compliance
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released guidance for employer vaccination programs just two days after the first vaccine was injected. For government, a fast speed! The guidance provides employers with specifics on the rights and responsibilities of employers related to any COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws“, these updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) explain how a COVID-19 vaccination program interacts with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Employers fall into a wide-spectrum of stances on whether to mandate a COVID-19 vaccination. Any such policy comes with caveats, accommodations and considerations leading some employers to choose to avoid any vaccination mandate altogether. Other employers cannot stay in business without curbing the infection rate within their employment ranks. Whether you as an employer select one option over another should come after consult with an employment attorney to ensure compliance with all relevant law applicable to your specific industry and employee demographics.
A thorough analysis on COVID-19 vaccination policies in light of this latest EEOC guidance will be released by the Leavitt Group soon. Be sure you are signed up for our news alerts. If you are not, you may do so here!
Many common workplace inquiries about the COVID-19 pandemic are addressed in the CDC publication “General Business Frequently Asked Questions.”
The EEOC has provided guidance (a publication entitled Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act [PDF version]) (“Pandemic Preparedness”), consistent with these workplace protections and rules, that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. This pandemic publication, which was written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant today and identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic. It has been updated as of March 19, 2020 to address examples and information regarding COVID-19; the new 2020 information appears in bold and is marked with an asterisk.