US agency says employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccination

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Sterling Heights firefighter Ashley Brouwer, who started her job in March 2021, prepares a syringe of Moderna vaccine at a distribution location in Sterling Heights, Mich., Wednesday, April 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(Reuters) — U.S. companies can mandate that employees in a workplace must be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said on Friday.

The EEOC, in a statement posted on its website explaining its updated guidance, said employees can be required to be vaccinated as long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.

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In addition, employers may offer incentives to workers to be vaccinated, as long as they are not coercive, it said.

The vast majority of employers have been reluctant to require workers to be vaccinated. A survey by management-side law firm Fisher Phillips earlier this year found that only 9% of the more than 700 employers surveyed said they were considering mandating vaccines.

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