As a healthcare and business law firm, we work with many employers and employees to navigate complex employment matters, oftentimes with an eye towards federal employment regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted employment in the United States. Now that the Country is reopening and people are returning to work, a question on everyone’s mind is: “Can my employer require me to get the vaccine”? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently released guidance answering that question. This post intends to outline the EEOC’s position; it does not address the potential impact of state and local rules on this topic. If you have questions regarding this blog post, employment matters, or EEOC rules and regulations, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com
The EEOC Hearing
To assist in developing its guidance, on April 28, 2021, the EEOC held a hearing to discuss the impact of the pandemic on workplace civil rights. During the hearing, the EEOC heard from experts in economics, policy, disability rights, and many more. The hearing transcript and audio is available here. It may be important going forward to consider that the EEOC hearing was held before the CDC issued new guidance on May 13th pertaining to fully vaccinated individuals.