A federal agency announced last week that employers can legally require their workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and can prevent them from entering the workplace if they refuse.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines Wednesday claiming that requiring a COVID test would not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and that though employers can’t require certain medical exams like blood tests, the COVID vaccine does not apply.
“If a vaccine is administered to an employee by an employer for protection against contracting COVID-19, the employer is not seeking information about an individual’s impairments or current health status and, therefore, it is not a medical examination,” the commission said.
“There are many reasons that may explain why an employee has not been vaccinated, which may or may not be disability-related,” it added.
This is how the COVID vaccine will be enforced: through businesses, much like how the COVID social distancing and masks measures were enforced nationwide.
From The Hill:
Public health experts have said they predict employers will play a key role in helping bring the nation to a critical degree of widespread immunity as vaccines become more widely available. Two vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and another from Moderna, have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is anticipated to greenlight the administration of the Moderna vaccine in the coming days.
Still, even with permission from the EEOC, employers must be cautious about any information that may be gleaned from prescreening questions, which the government said must be “job related and consistent with business necessity.”
The announcement by the EEOC may not go over so well with a large minority of Americans.
A recent Gallup survey found 42% of Americans are NOT planning to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Skepticism over the vaccine is so high that government officials are publicly taking the vaccine to instill confidence in the American people to take it.