EEOC Issues New Guidance on Religious and Pregnancy Vaccine Accommodations!

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About Course

Now that the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) Rule on vaccine mandates for private Employers with 100+ employees was suspended in November 2021 until further notice, it is more important than ever that employers are more aware of how to mitigate vaccine mandates in the workplace based on the current US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mandates.

The EEOC recently updated its COVID-19 guidance, detailing its view of employer obligations under Title VII when evaluating religious objections to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The EEOC also added guidance on requests for accommodation based on pregnancy under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Together, these comprise the second significant update to EEOC’s COVID-19 guidance since the FDA and CDC authorized COVID-19 vaccines.

Employers who implemented vaccine mandates have faced a tidal wave of requests for religious exemptions. The sheer volume of requests combined with the difficulty of separating protected versus unprotected claims, all while respecting an employee’s stated beliefs, has been a significant challenge for human resources and legal departments. With these latest updates, made on October 13, and October 25, 2021, the EEOC has attempted to provide clearer guidance to employers on accommodation requests.

Although the OSHA Rule is suspended, it is expected that this will be temporary and may be resumed after the legal battles. Either way, Employers still need to prepare for the possibility that there may be some form of a version of the mandate. Until then, the EEOC is the mandate that needs to be clear for the workplace.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Why did the EEOC issue this new guidance at this time
  • Learn what the challenges are with requests for sincerely held religious beliefs
  • Learn how you can use the new guidelines by EEOC when making decisions about the credibility of the requests for religious exemptions
  • Learn if the EEOC form created for religious exemption can be an effective tool in your company
  • What factors can impact how you determine reasonable accommodations for both exemptions?
  • Learn why pregnancy is still on the list by EEOC as an exemption to the vaccine mandate
  • Learn how Employers can manage the challenges based on their policies
  • Now that the OSHA Rule is suspended, for now, learn what Employers need to do while they wait for the legal update
  • What impact do Employers have if they exceed the EEOC guidelines on religious exemption and pregnancy
  • Employers now more than ever need to understand the Reasonable Accommodation process and how to use it effectively for vaccine exemptions
  • Learn why pregnancy concerns by pregnant women, lactating and women interested in getting pregnant are real and significant
  • Learn why litigation may still be a risk no matter what the EEOC new guidance says
  • What is the most effective course of action when you decide to terminate employees who refuse the vaccine?

What Will You Learn?

  • The EEOC had informed employers that they can mandate vaccines in the workplace. However, since the EEOC’s directive, Employers have experienced confusion and frustration with mitigating exemptions for the vaccine especially when it comes to sincerely held religious beliefs and pregnancy. Although the EEOC has provided an update on these issues, Employers are still grappling with handling these issues. This training will provide Employers and professionals with how to mitigate this challenge.

Course Content

You can access all the webinar materials after successful payment

  • Webinar Link + Handouts PDF
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