The EEOC sent a letter to employer groups indicating that it would clarify the types and value of incentives that employers may offer to employees in order to encourage them to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The EEOC did not respond to the many employer groups’ requests with guidance or even a timetable for when guidance could be expected.
At present, vaccine incentives fall into a legal gray area. Employer wellness incentives are closely scrutinized and must be de minimus (e.g., a water bottle or t-shirt) in order to avoid violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many employers are offering the vaccination incentives to employees anyway and not waiting for guidance from the EEOC. Typical incentives range from: time off for vaccination, extra paid time off, and cash bonuses.