Employers can require employees to become vaccinated with two important exceptions: serious medical conditions or religious reasons. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations. The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidance on mandatory vaccine policies.
While such policies are legal, incentivizing employees may be a better strategy for compliance. Communicate with vaccine-hesitant employees to determine the reasons for concern. It may be a scenario for an accommodation. As a best practice before instituting a mandatory vaccination policy, employers should provide managers, supervisors, and those responsible for implementing the policy with clear information about how to handle accommodation requests related to the policy.