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EEOC Provides Updates on COVID-19, Vaccines and the ADA

Monday, June 28, 2021

In May, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated and additional answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). These FAQs explained how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal fair employment laws while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights of this Brief:

  • ADA Rules Still Apply but Do Not Prevent Safety Measures – Employers must follow ADA rules while observing emergency guidelines issued by federal, state and local health authorities during the pandemic.
  • Employer Guidance – The EEOC’s pandemic guidance clarifies that employers may:
    • Require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations (but may need to accommodate certain refusals);
    • Ask employees if they have COVID-19 or its symptoms;
    • Require employees to stay home (and to provide medical notes before returning to work) if they have COVID-19 or its symptoms; and
    • Screen applicants for COVID-19 symptoms after making conditional job offers.

The new and updated FAQs address whether employers may require or provide incentives for employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. They were added to guidance that the EEOC first issued on March 18, 2020, and then updated several times. The last update was made in December 2020.  

This Compliance Bulletin contains the EEOC’s updated FAQs in full, which draw from the EEOC’s existing pandemic publication, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the ADA, to help employers navigate workplace issues related to the COVID-19. The updated and newly added FAQs about vaccinations begin on page 19 of this document. 

Employers are subject to the ADA if they have 15 or more employees. Smaller employers may be subject to similar rules under applicable state or local laws.

Please click the link below to download the action steps and the full brief.

EEOC Update

This Compliance Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Design ©2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.



Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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