By Jennifer Jacobus, PHRca, SDEA Director of HR Services.
How much are vaccinated employees worth to you?
With lack of any official guidance from the EEOC, many employers had moved ahead with incentives for their employees to get the COVID vaccine. There has been a lot of questions surrounding this; “is it okay to incentivize an employee to get vaccinated”; “what is a permissible incentive”; “is there a limit, how much is too much”; and “what about employees who cannot get vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons”?
On May 28, the EEOC provided updated guidance stating that yes, employers may offer incentives to their employees for the vaccine. The EEOC stated, “Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care provider, or public clinic”.
The Agency went on to say, “Because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions, a very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information,”. While the EEOC did not provide any specific guidelines, employers are cautioned not to provide too big of an incentive where an employee feels coerced to get the vaccine.
EEOC has updated their COVID related guidance, found here.
Employers who have additional questions or are still unsure what this new information means for them, are encouraged to call SDEA at 858-505-0024.
Members of SDEA enjoy unlimited consultation with our HR Team