As COVID-19 vaccines become available, employers have the option to create a mandatory vaccinations policy or a voluntary vaccinations policy, so long as their vaccination policies have certain exceptions, are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
In general, it is recommended for employers to offer vaccinations to employees on a voluntary basis; however, employers in most states may be able to require COVID-19 vaccinations as long as the employer complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The guidance indicates that an employer must consider reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities and those employees whose religious beliefs conflict with receiving a vaccine.
If your workforce is protected by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a mandatory vaccination would be a condition of employment that may already be included in the CBA or may need to be negotiated with the union before such a policy could be implemented.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released specific guidance (Section K) on the COVID-19 vaccine. It has also updated its Pandemic Preparedness for the Workplace guidance to reflect the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Please contact us today at 586-461-1400 to discuss your COVID-19 vaccine policy options.