As COVID-19 vaccine mandates by employers become more common, so do requests for exemptions. Requests for religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates have forced many employers to make difficult decisions regarding the validity of the accommodation requests as well as whether and how to reasonably accommodate legitimate requests — while also meeting the obligation to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. Yesterday, the EEOC issued new guidance providing helpful insight regarding an employer’s obligation to grant requests for religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has again extended the deadline for submitting and certifying 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 Reports to Monday, October 25, 2021. Previously, the EEOC extended the original deadline from July 19, 2021 to August 23, 2021. The EEOC explained that it extended the deadline due to the continuing impact of the pandemic on business operations. But the EEOC also stated that it will make no additional changes to the filing deadline, and that all eligible filers must submit their data by October 25, 2021.
Today, after much anticipation and just in time for the Memorial Day holiday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination issues raised under federal equal employment laws. We outline five things you need to know about the new guidance.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) begins EEO-1 Component 1 data collection today with its recently updated website. In addition to launching the new online filing system, the EEO-1 website features refreshed resource information, including 21 FAQs and four fact sheets, which discuss pointers for preparing to file and getting started, as well as reporting requirements for company organizational changes.
As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely accessible, and certain localities relax COVID-19 restrictions, employers hoping to ramp up on-site operations or reduce absenteeism face a new challenge: navigating employee vaccination. Employers are evaluating whether to mandate, strongly suggest or simply remain neutral regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and on-site work.
The considerations surrounding workplace vaccination programs are complex. Business justifications and accommodation issues, potential public relations and employee relations pitfalls, the impact of vaccination on workforce safety procedures, litigation risks on multiple fronts — these are just the beginning. To help piece together this business and regulatory puzzle, we have compiled a list of issues organizations should consider as they set policy and communication plans regarding on-site work and COVID-19 vaccines. We have also identified issues to consider with regard to the practical application of any such policy and the development of related communications to employees or others.