Vaccinations have been a hot topic since they were first introduced. Medical professionals strongly advocated for herd immunity. Employers hoped it would be the first step toward keeping employees healthy and would free up time spent on FFCRA- and ARPA-related leave administration. Employees wanted to stop wearing masks and didn’t want to worry about the risks involved in leaving the house.
Initially, vaccinations were limited and people had to wait until they qualified based on age, job-related necessity, and risk factors. Now that the restrictions are no longer a factor, vaccination rates are slowing and some employers are wondering what can be done to encourage a larger participation rate.
The immediate response was to offer incentives, but employers need to be mindful of what can be done in the work environment to avoid creating discrimination, harassment, or payroll problems. On May 28, 2021, the EEOC issued guidance in response to employers’ most frequently asked questions surrounding vaccination.