EEOC Releases Updated COVID-19 FAQ | Articles by Ruder
Yesterday the Commission for Equal Employment Opportunities (EEOC) added more Faq to his COVID advice to what is becoming a very long list that started months ago. The EEOC highlights additional religious exemption guidelines as follows:
- Employees and applicants should notify their employers if they request an exception to an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement based on sincere religious belief, practice or observance.
- Title VII requires employers to consider requests for religious accommodations, but does not protect the social, political or economic opinions, or the personal preferences of employees who request exceptions to a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
- Employers who demonstrate “undue hardship” are not required to respond to an employee’s request for religious accommodation.
It is important to note that the EEOC remains adamant that employers must take an individual approach to each employee who requests accommodation for religious or medical reasons. This means that employers must document that they are engaged in the interactive process and assess on a case-by-case basis, if any, what accommodations can be made for the employee. Careful employers should ensure they have written documentation of the following:
- the interactive process;
- what accommodation is the employee looking for? ;
- what accommodations, if any, are offered by the employer? ; and
- any evidence of undue hardship if an accommodation is refused.