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EEOC Issues Updated Covid-19 Technical Assistance Publication to Address COVID-19 Vaccinations

New guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is available to help employers determine whether they can require their employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19) without violating federal discrimination laws.

The publication, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws (see Section K),” now includes a new section providing information to employers and employees about how a COVID-19 vaccination interacts with the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). This includes issues pertaining to medical pre-screening questions and employer accommodations for those unable to receive a vaccination.

In short, the guidance asserts that employers may encourage or possibly require COVID-19 vaccinations, but policies must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other workplace laws.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review the guidance and consult with legal counsel prior to developing or implementing any policy which mandates or requires proof of vaccination by employees.

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