What type of incentives should or should not employers offer?
Determining acceptable vaccine incentives for workers also relates to guidelines issued by the EEOC.
According to a JD Supra article the most common incentives that employers offer are cash/gifts and paid time off. In fact, based on a survey conducted in 2021:
- 38% of employers would offer cash/gifts
- 30% would offer paid time off as incentives
- 43% were unsure about offering incentives
Of the employers surveyed who were offering cash/gifts, 24% said they would provide compensation worth over $100. Around 22% would consider amounts worth under $100. Of the remaining employers, 6% considered giving company-branded merchandise including, water bottles, t-shirts or company store gift cards. The percentage of employers unsure about what type of cash or gifts to give was 48%.
Another option that several employers considered was a company raffle. Inoculated employees could enter to win a prize, such as $1,000 cash, an Apple watch or another luxury item.
Paid Time Off Incentives
Some employers who took the survey considered paid time off as an incentive. The percentages were as follows:
- 76% were uncertain about how much paid time off to provide
- 11% considered giving a full day off
- 11% considered providing four hours or less time off
No Incentives Allowed for Employers Vaccinating Family Members
Another issue that came up was whether you could offer incentives to employees who allow your company or agent to vaccinate their family members. EEOC guidelines do not permit this. The reason is it would be in violation of GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). It would violate the Title II health and genetic services provision.
More specifically, by asking pre-screening medical questions, the employer would receive genetic information regarding employee’s family medical history. GINA does not allow employers to provide incentives for genetic information.
However, there are steps employers can take to ensure GINA compliance. As long as the employer is in compliance, the company can offer an employee’s family member the opportunity to be vaccinated by the company’s staff or agent. Also, you can offer incentives to employees who provide documentation from an outside third party that shows the employee’s family members received vaccinations.
Do You Have Questions about Acceptable Vaccine Incentives for Workers?
Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. can provide you with experienced legal guidance. We are glad to answer your questions and explain how laws apply for vaccine incentives. Call (718) 275-6500 to arrange an appointment.