Companies MAY offer incentives for employees to get vaccinated, including cash, gift cards and time off
According to the federal government, companies in the US can legally incentivize workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In December 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said employers can require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the workplace.
But in updated guidance published Friday, the EEOC said bosses can offer cash, gift cards, time off to get the chance or paid time off.
However, the recommendations state that companies’ motivation to punch employees should not be ‘coercive’ and they should allow exemptions, whether for disability or religious reasons.
In updated guidelines published Friday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said employers can offer incentives to employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Pictured: Jorge Montoya receives his first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles, April 2021
This can include a range of things such as cash, gift cards, time off to get the shot, or paid time off, similar to what states are doing to encourage declining vaccination rates
“The updated technical assistance released today addresses frequently asked questions about vaccinations in the workplace context,” EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said in a statement.
“The EEOC will continue to clarify and update our COVID-19 technical assistance to ensure we provide clear, easy-to-understand and useful information to the public.
“We will continue to address the issues raised at the Commission’s recent hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on civil rights.”
Recently, several companies have announced that they are paying their employees to receive the vaccine.
Both McDonald’s and discount supermarket Aldi said they will give employees up to four hours of paid leave to get the coronavirus shot.
Meanwhile, Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, said it will give $100 to any employee who proves they have been vaccinated.
And American Airlines said all employees — including pilots, flight attendants and corporate employees — who are vaccinated will receive an additional day off in 2022 and $50 in the company’s recognition program.
These are similar to the lotteries that several states, such as California, New York and Ohio, have held to boost declining vaccination rates, which have dropped from an average of 2.5 million per day at the beginning of the month to 1.5 million per day. day day from Monday.
However, the EEOC says incentives for workers to get vaccinated should not be so great as to appear “coercive.”
“Because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination questions about disability screening, a very large incentive could cause employees to feel pressured to release protected medical information,” the guideline reads.
Currently, 50.5% of the US population, including children 12 years and older, has received at least one dose and 40.7% have completed their vaccine series
However, some legal experts say that what is considered coercive for one person may not be so for another.
“What’s ‘coercive’ is unclear because, as with anything else, one person’s opinion of what constitutes a coercive incentive is not the same as another’s,” Helen Rella, a labor attorney with the law firm Wilk, told the newspaper. Auslander in New York. CBS News.
You may find a $100 incentive compelling and another may find a $10,000 incentive compelling. The door stays open there [where] we don’t have the detailed guidance we hoped to get.’
The directive also states that an employer providing on-site vaccinations must keep the employee’s personal medical information confidential.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62.6 percent of all U.S. adults have received at least their first dose of the inoculation, and 49.6 percent have been fully vaccinated.
In addition, 50.5 percent of the U.S. population, including children ages 12 and older, have received at least one dose and 40.7 percent have completed their vaccine series.