On May 28, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published updated questions and answers directly related to the increasing confusion regarding implementation of vaccination policies as employers look to get back to business. The most recent statistics from Ourworldindata.org show that over 136 million Americans—or about 41% of the population—are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, there are still a number of adults who may have questions regarding the safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines or who elect not to receive the vaccination for one reason or another. As with most things in the workplace, employers may find that it is difficult to please every employee or create a fair policy regarding what has become a very divisive topic. What is a responsible employer to do? The EEOC published timely guidance on this issue as many employers set their sights on fully reopening beginning June 1 or gradually opening through the summer with the expectation of a full office by the fall.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there has been and will continue to be gray areas for employers. However, below are some of the key points from the EEOC’s May 28 guidance and best practices for employers.