Posted 1 year ago - by

Guidance on Religious Exemptions to Workplace COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance regarding religious exemptions when it comes to vaccines in the workplace. Below are a few key takeaways from the updates.

 

 

Initial Requests

Employees do not need to notify their employers that they are seeking religious exemptions. However, they do need to specifically notify their employer if there is a severe conflict between their religious beliefs, practices, or observances and the employer’s COVID vaccine requirements. Additionally, employers should provide information with whom to contact and any procedures in place for requesting a religious exception & accommodation.

Employers need to generally assume that an employee’s concerns are sincere. Nonetheless, there is an objective basis for questioning the sincerity in which an employer is just to request additional information. If the employee denies this request, they then lose any subsequent claim that the employer improperly denied them.

Accommodations

Under Title VII, an employer must sincerely consider all options to reasonably accommodate unvaccinated employees. However, if they are unable to do so without experiencing undue hardship, then they do not need to provide accommodations. They need to be able to prove this.

Some examples of undue hardship includes:

  • Monetary burden
  • Impair workplace safety
  • Diminish efficiency in other jobs
  • Risk the spread of covid to other employees or the public

It should also be noted that Title VII does not protect social, political, or economic views or personal preferences. Additionally, if there are several reasonable accommodations available, the employer is not obligated to allow the employees to choose which one they would prefer.

Employers can also discontinue religious accommodations if they no longer apply. This could include cases in which the employee received the vaccine or if they no longer practice the religion/belief. The employer, however, must discuss this with the employee beforehand.

Organizations should speak with a trusted professional to ensure you’re not missing anything necessary to meet federal/local standards.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about the easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.

Related Posts

5 Ways Workforce Management Systems Help Your Business Thrive

Workforce Management Systems helps organizations automate processes crucial to running a business By streamlining these processes, employers can maximize performance levels like employee productivity...

Read more...

3 HR Compliance Issues for the Construction Industry and Their Solutions

The construction industry will always carry its own set of compliance rules that employers need to abide by Employers within the construction industry have a lot to keep up with as they must comply...

Read more...

Payroll Management Optimization: 8 Strategies for a Successful Business

Managing payroll is a major part of running a business Although it may seem daunting at times, it is important to take a good, long look at your company’s payroll management to see how you can...

Read more...

How to Better Maintain I-9 Documentation Compliance With Onboarding Software

In March of 2020, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began issuing extensions to a policy that allowed employers to inspect form I-9 documents virtually The last extension was to go...

Read more...

How To Write The Perfect Offer Letter to A Potential Job Candidate

A company’s hiring process is a crucial part of the employee lifecycle that requires thoughtful consideration and effort to land the right candidate Writing an employment offer letter plays a...

Read more...

OSHA Announces New Program for Reducing Heat-Related Injuries

In April of 2022, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a new initiative that aims to prevent heat-related injuries and illnesses The program focuses on industries that...

Read more...

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.