Can Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines or Offer Vaccination Incentives?
Dinsmore labor and employment attorney Hayley Geiler spoke with Digiday this week for an article about the legality of vaccine mandates and incentives for employers. Read what she had to say below.
In some ways, employers may be better off avoiding mandates for now. Law firms are closely monitoring proposed legislation that prohibits “vaccine passports” or vaccination requirements, according to Hayley Geiler, associate at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. “There is legislation pending in multiple states, which, if passed, would prohibit employers from requiring employees to become vaccinated, prohibit employers for asking employees to disclose vaccination status, and prohibit employers from taking adverse action against an employee due to their vaccination status,” she added. That’s an area employers will also need to monitor.
The EEOC has said incentives can’t be deemed “coercive” but they haven’t actually capped them or stated explicitly what constitutes coercive. For that reason, they’re not without risks, and "employers must ensure that incentives are not overly coercive or discriminatory,” said Dinsmore’s Geiler. This may include granting accommodations to employees who cannot become vaccinated. Employers also need to ensure that they comply with confidentiality requirements regarding collecting and retaining vaccination records, she added.
Read the full article here.