EEOC Updates Guidance On COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak

In updated guidance, the EEOC has confirmed that employers may offer incentives to encourage employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to the agency’s press release: “Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care provider, or public clinic.” 

Requesting documentation/confirmation of vaccination is not a disability-related inquiry under the ADA.  Employers who obtain vaccination information from employees must keep the information confidential pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The agency’s guidance is found at the “What You should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” webpage.  In addition to confirming that employers can offer COVID-19 vaccination incentives, the EEOC’s updated guidance states:

  • Employers may mandate COVID-19 vaccination under federal equal employment opportunity laws, so long as employers comply with obligations under the ADA and Title VII regarding reasonable accommodations. The EEOC, of course, takes no position on the impact of other laws on mandatory vaccinations.
  • Employer-provided incentives cannot be coercive. Where employers are administering the vaccine to employees, there is risk of coercion if the incentive is “very large,” which “could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information.”
  • Employers may lawfully provide educational information to employees and their family members about COVID-19 vaccines, including the benefits of vaccination and to answer common questions.


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