EEOC: Employers Can Require Employees To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

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As healthcare workers and the elderly began receiving the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released updated guidance clarifying that employers can require vaccination when it is widely available in most cases.

The EEOC, which enforces employment laws like the United States Disability Act, said Wednesday that a vaccination is not a “medical examination,” which employers cannot force.

For this reason, employers can require workers to receive the vaccine, except in specific cases, such as a worker who has a religious belief that prevents them from getting the vaccine.

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Employers should also be careful with how they administer vaccines, as “pre-screening questions about immunization may involve the ADA’s disposition of disability-related surveys, which are surveys that may elicit responses. information on a disability ”.

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In short, employers are allowed to set terms and conditions of a person’s employment.

“Your body is sacrosanct to the government but not to the employers,” Fox News senior forensic analyst Andrew Napolitano told Charlie Gasparino. “Employers have a duty to maintain a safe environment and can adopt behaviors designed to ensure the safety of people. ”

The updated guidelines come in as many Americans are still skeptical about the vaccine.

Sixty-three percent of Americans now say they’re ready to get the shot, up from 50 percent in September, according to a Gallup poll released last week.

About half of working Americans, or 49%, say employers should require workplace vaccinations, according to an Eagle Hill Consulting COVID-19 Vaccines 2020 and the workplace survey conducted by Ipsos earlier this month.

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“With COVID-19 vaccines within reach of workers, there are indeed reasons to be hopeful after a trying year for families, businesses and the economy. But the road ahead will be complicated for employers, as our research indicates, ”said Melissa Jezior, CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting on Monday.

“The workforce is clearly divided when it comes to employer vaccination mandates, so this will be controversial no matter where an employer lands on vaccination requirements.”

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