Steering clear of a federal mandate, the Biden administration called on all employers to provide paid leave for workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and recover from vaccination side effects. The administration also called on large employers to provide individuals with information on where and how they can be vaccinated.
Information and incentives: The administration is asking large employers to take advantage of their resources to provide accurate and up-to-date information on the vaccines, including the benefits of vaccination, through in-store messaging and public service announcements (PSAs). Employers are also asked to provide incentives such as:
- Discounts for vaccinated individuals,
- Product giveaways or rewards, and/or
- Point-of-purchase promotions.
Employers that wish to make a public commitment to getting their employees and communities vaccinated can fill out a form provided by the White House here.
In response to an HR Policy letter, the EEOC stated it will update guidance on vaccine incentive programs. HR Policy Association, along with several business groups, urged the EEOC to issue additional guidance to clarify the extent to which employers may offer vaccination incentives to their employees. Questions remain on whether these incentives violate federal labor and employment laws, including anti-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Before additional guidance is provided, employers should carefully consider the value of their incentives.