EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQs
By Sara J. Ackermann
October 26, 2021
Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added more FAQs to its COVID guidance to what is becoming a very long list that started months ago. The EEOC highlights the additional religious exemption guidance as follows:
- Employees and applicants must inform their employers if they seek an exception to an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement due to a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.
- Title VII requires employers to consider requests for religious accommodations but does not protect social, political, or economic views, or personal preferences of employees who seek exceptions to a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
- Employers that demonstrate “undue hardship” are not required to accommodate an employee’s request for a religious accommodation.
It is important to note the EEOC remains steadfast that employers must take an individualized approach with regard to each employee who requests an accommodation for religious or medical reasons. This means employers must document that they engaged in the interactive process and assess on a case-by-case basis what, if any, accommodation can be made for the employee. Prudent employers should make sure to have written documentation of the following:
- The interactive process.
- What accommodation is being sought by the employee?
- What accommodations, if any, are being offered by the employer? and
- All evidence of undue hardship if an accommodation is being denied.
As always, if you have questions, contact any member of Ruder Ware’s COVID-19 Focus Team.
Back to all News & Insights
The content in the following blog posts is based upon the state of the law at the time of its original publication. As legal developments change quickly, the content in these blog posts may not remain accurate as laws change over time. None of the information contained in these publications is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues. You should not act upon the information in these blog posts without discussing your specific situation with legal counsel.
© 2023 Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. Accurate reproduction with acknowledgment granted. All rights reserved.