The EEOC has determined that employers can require their employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination as long as the employer complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA).
Employer’s vaccination requirements need to allow exemptions for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs in order to comply with the ADA. Although employees that have a legitimate medical or religious reason to refuse the vaccine can still have their employment terminated if their refusal presents a danger to themselves or other employees or causes undue hardship for the business. However, the employer must first attempt to accommodate the employee’s needs. This may involve accommodations such as allowing the employee to telecommute or wear personal protective equipment.
If an employee asks for accommodation, the employer needs to notify the employee of any decision in writing. The employer must also keep any requests for accommodation private and not retaliate against the employee.
Although employers can require employees to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations, many employers allow employees to make this decision.