Dealing with Religious Objections to Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements: The EEOC Issues Clarifying Technical Assistance for Employers
iStock-covid vaccine exemption.jpg

On October 25, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued long-awaited technical assistance concerning employees’ religious objections to vaccine requirements in the workplace. (The new guidance is Section L of the EEOC’s Q&A document entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” which can be found here.)  Though several state governments, and the federal government, have already issued COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employers, the EEOC’s guidance is quite timely as employers continue to face the often-thorny process of assessing religious accommodation requests from their employees. In case you missed it, we covered the mandate for federal contractors  in an earlier article.

The guidance reminds employers that it is the employee’s burden to tell their employer if they are requesting an exception to a vaccination requirement (a “religious accommodation”) because of a conflict with a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance (“religious beliefs”). Employers should note that employees do not have to recite any specific “magic words” or reference specific laws in order to put the employer on notice that they are seeking a religious accommodation, so long as they notify the employer that a vaccination requirement conflicts with a sincerely held religious belief. The EEOC advises that these principles also apply if an employee expresses a religious conflict with a particular vaccine and wishes to wait until another version or brand of vaccine is available.

Read the full alert here.

Posted in COVID-19, Vaccine

This blog/web site presents general information only. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice, and you should not consider or rely on it as such. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. This website is not an offer to represent you. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information at this website. Neither our presentation of such information nor your receipt of it creates nor will create an attorney-client relationship with any reader of this blog. Any links from another site to the blog are beyond the control of Pullman & Comley, LLC and do not convey their approval, support or any relationship to any site or organization. Any description of a result obtained for a client in the past is not intended to be, and is not, a guarantee or promise the firm can or will achieve a similar outcome.

Subscribe to Updates

About Our Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Law Blog

Alerts, commentary, and insights from the attorneys of Pullman & Comley’s Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits practice on such workplace topics as labor and employment law, counseling and training, litigation, immigration law and union issues, as well as employee benefits and ERISA matters.

Other Blogs by Pullman & Comley

Connecticut Health Law Blog

Education Law Notes

For What It May Be Worth

Recent Posts


Jump to Page