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EEOC Updates Guidance Regarding Mandatory Vaccinations, ADA, and COVID-19


2 minute read

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued answers to frequently asked questions regarding how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mandatory vaccination programs, and other federal fair employment laws while also observing emergency guidelines during the pandemic.

The EEOC’s ADA guidance clarifies that employers may:

  • Screen applicants for COVID-19 symptoms after making conditional job offers
  • Require employees to stay home and provide medical notes before returning to work if they have COVID-19 or its symptoms
  • Ask employees if they have COVID-19 or its symptoms
  • Require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations (but may need to accommodate certain refusals)

Note that the ADA is applicable only to employers with 15 or more employees. Download the ADA bulletin for more details.

The EEOC’s mandatory vaccination guidance clarifies that employers may:

  • Require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccination
    • If required, the employer may need to provide accommodations or show that an unvaccinated employee would pose a direct threat
  • Ask employees vaccination-related questions, but they must be job-related and consistent with business necessity
  • Keep confidential any medical information obtained during a vaccination program

Download the mandatory vaccination bulletin for more details.

Employers should follow the most current guidelines for maintaining workplace safety as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any other applicable state or local health agency.


This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Employee Benefits Consultant for National Insurance Services, has his energy level permanently set at “high.” His maxim is “work hard, play hard.” Steve’s an expert in getting groups of people working together for a higher cause. Minnesota schools, cities, and counties rely on Steve’s unique and creative ideas of engaging employees in their own health and wellness to lower utilization trends. He has 20+ years in the health insurance field doing compliance, cost mitigation, utilization, analytics, wellness plans, and strategic planning. Steve is a licensed insurance agent and holds the designations for Managed Healthcare Professional (The Health Insurance Association of America), Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (National Association of Health Underwriters), and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (Hartford School of Insurance). He specializes in Employee Benefits Consulting for Minnesota schools, cities, and counties including fully insured, self-insured, and stop-loss plans.