Key concerns for employers providing vaccination incentives – The Every day Reporter – WI Development Information & Bids – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Years after my marriage, I learned one thing. That means that in most cases the binary choice is better. For example, the question “What do you prefer, pizza, Thai food, barbecue or Mexican food?” If we all know that this is not true, the answer is “I don’t care”. On the contrary, the question is, “Which is better, Mexican food or BBQ?” Reveals the dinner my wife really wants.

Fortunately for employers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has given them an alternative to promoting vaccines by making important distinctions based on who gives injections.

If the employee voluntarily provides a document confirming that the employee has been vaccinated and was shot dead by the pharmacy, health department, or other health care provider nearby, then the employer has no explicit restrictions. We offer you the incentives you want.

Even if the tissue (or the tissue acting on behalf of the tissue) is administering the vaccine, it may provide incentives, but it is not as valuable as is considered mandatory.

Regardless of which route your employer chooses, there are some other considerations in providing vaccination incentives based on voluntary vaccination. 2, confidentiality; 3, family; and 4 what’s on offer.


Some employees may have legitimate medical or religious reasons not to be vaccinated and are required to provide the same type of incentives under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Title VII. This can lead to billing. Employers should consider offering alternatives that allow employees to receive incentives if they cannot be vaccinated because of a disability or genuine religious belief. Another way to get incentives is to watch a COVID-19 safety video in the workplace or read the literature from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help curb the COVID-19 epidemic in the workforce.


After collecting information about whether an employee is vaccinated, the employer must maintain confidentiality. Records should be kept in accordance with all other data protection regulations, just like any other medical record (e.g. another file is only accessible to those who need to know it).

family members

The employer may encourage the employee to provide a document or other endorsement from a third party who is not acting on behalf of the family being vaccinated, but the EEOC is an employer. Has confirmed that it cannot incentivize workers in return for their families. Members who have been vaccinated by an organization or its representatives. This is viewed as a violation of the Genetic Information Indiscrimination Act (GINA) Title II Health and Genetic Services Provision.

Asking medical questions prior to screening results in employers receiving genetic information in the form of the employee’s family history, and GINA rules prohibit employers from offering incentives in exchange for genetic information. I am. However, if certain measures have been taken to ensure compliance with the GINA, the employer may allow the worker’s family to be vaccinated by the organization or its agent.

Possible incentives

Sometimes it’s easiest to chase the crowd and not make waves. This is the stance many employers take on vaccination incentives. This can give you peace of mind that the two most common incentive options your employer has are cash / gifts (38%) and paid vacation (30%). This is due to the FP Flash survey, which found earlier this year that more than one in five employers offered vaccination incentives. This should increase as almost half (43%) of all respondents said they weren’t sure they were offering some form of incentive. Many commented that the legal uncertainties of the time fueled their hesitation.

Cash / gift. For those considering cash / gifts, about a quarter (24%) of respondents said they would offer a reward greater than $ 100, and a similar number (22%) said they would offer less than $ 100 pay it. The remaining employers are considering stolen goods from the nominal company (6% offer company goods such as T-shirts, water bottles, gift cards, etc. in company stores) or what kind. Either they do not know whether they want to buy a gift or cash. Giving (48 percent).

One of the more creative cash / gift incentives offered by some respondents was the company’s raffle. That way, those who choose to get vaccinated can compete to win prizes like $ 1,000, Apple Watch, and other luxury items.

paid vacation. Employers considering giving their employees paid vacation are divided into four hours or less (11%) and one day (11%) vacation. A very small percentage (2%) are considering offering a day or more of vacation. However, 76% of employers considering PTO options weren’t sure how much vacation they would offer.

I will continue to follow developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine and related workplace-related issues. However, congratulations to all Category 1 employers. The EEOC appears to have recently issued the first definitive guidance, which it received last year. Unfortunately, this is a gray area for employers who fall into Category 2 (or have concerns about the agency definition). When considering vaccination incentives, be sure to keep the following in mind: 2, Confidentiality; 3, restrictions on who can receive incentives.

Steven Scott is an associate with Fisher Phillips, a state-owned company that represents employers on all aspects of labor law. Call him at 503-205-8094 or write to [email protected].

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