wooden gavel on the American flag

American companies are able to legally mandate that their workers are vaccinated, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces federal laws pertaining to employment discrimination.

In a statement to the media, the EEOC clarified that its technical assistance update makes it clear that EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all workers who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated against COVID1-19, provided the employer is complying with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other EEO considerations. 

It's important to note that other laws that don't follow under the jurisdiction of the EEOC can place other restrictions on employers and their vaccination mandates.

The EEOC suggested employers keep in mind the fact that some individuals or demographic groups might have a harder time receiving COVID-19 vaccinations than others, meaning there's a greater chance that these employees suffer from vaccination mandates.

The EEOC also said federal equal employment opportunity laws do not prevent employers from offering incentives to employees who provide documentation that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Employers who are administering the vaccines themselves to employees can also offer vaccination incentives as long as those incentives aren't coercive. 

“The EEOC will continue to clarify and update our COVID-19 technical assistance to ensure that we are providing the public with clear, easy to understand, and helpful information, said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. "We will continue to address the issues that were raised at the Commission’s recent hearing on the civil rights impact of COVID-19.”