EEOC Publishes Critical Guidance on Vaccines and the Workplace
December 16, 2020
EEOC Addresses Nine Questions Related to COVID-19 Vaccine
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidance in the form of Q&A on the impact the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations may have on equal employment opportunity laws, such as the ADA, GINA, Title VII, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC guidance may be found at: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-lawsThe nine questions addressed in the guidance are as follows:Whether a vaccination is a “medical examination” for purposes of the ADA?According to the CDC, health care providers should ask certain questions before administering a vaccine to ensure that there is no medical reason that would prevent the person from receiving the vaccination. If the employer requires an employee to receive the vaccination from the employer (or a third party with whom the employer contracts to administer a vaccine) and asks these screening questions, are these questions subject to the ADA standards for disability-related inquiries?Is asking or requiring an employee to show proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination a disability-related inquiry?Where can employers learn more about Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) of COVID-19 vaccines?If an employer requires vaccinations when they are available, how should it respond to an employee who indicates that he or she is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a disability?If an employer requires vaccinations when they are available, how should it respond to an employee who indicates that he or she is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a sincerely held religious practice or belief?What happens if an employer cannot exempt or provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who cannot comply with a mandatory vaccine policy because of a disability or sincerely held religious practice or belief?Is Title II of GINA implicated when an employer administers a COVID-19 vaccine to employees or requires employees to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccination?Does asking an employee the pre-vaccination screening questions before administering a COVID-19 vaccine implicate Title II of GINA?Shuttleworth & Ingersoll attorneys will be reviewing this newly published guidance and will be prepared to answer your questions regarding the implications of vaccines in the workplace. We will be supplementing this initial article with future information on the topic soon.
Mark P. A. Hudson
Mark P.A. Hudson is an Attorney and Senior Vice President at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. Mark’s work focuses on labor and employment compliance and counseling (including personnel policies and decisions, workplace investigations, affirmative action program compliance, wage and hour advice, and general employment counseling), labor and employment litigation (including equal opportunity, wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment and defense of employment-related claims), workplace training (including sexual harassment, workplace civility, bystander intervention, and a myriad of other training topics for supervisor, employee, and human resource professionals), privacy and data security compliance and litigation, and fair housing litigation and compliance.