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Employers Can Require Workers to Get COVID Vaccine, Says EEOC

Companies will be able to mandate that employees receive a coronavirus vaccine before entering the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in an update of its guidelines.

The updated guidance also allows employers to legally offer incentives, including cash, to those who get vaccinated, as long as workers are not coerced.

“The updated technical assistance … addresses frequently asked questions concerning vaccinations in the employment context,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “The EEOC will continue to clarify and update our COVID-19 technical assistance to ensure that we are providing the public with clear, easy to understand, and helpful information. We will continue to address the issues that were raised at the Commission’s recent hearing on the civil rights impact of COVID-19.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act allows employers to screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms — including testing for the disease — if it has a bearing on business or workplace safety.

So far, roughly 62% of the U.S. adult population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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