It’s the jab or the job.
Employers are allowed under federal law to require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine before they can physically return to the workplace, according to updated guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Friday.
But they must provide “reasonable accommodations” for workers who refuse the shots because of a disability — including pregnancy — or for religious reasons, the agency said. The decision may mean unvaccinated employees could be required to wear masks, or to work remotely.
The EEOC’s rules also gave the green light to companies offering incentives as a means of encouraging staffers to get vaccinated, as long as the perks are “not so substantial as to be coercive.”
“A very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information,” the EEOC explained — without providing specific examples of illegal sweeteners.
Food manufacturer Bolthouse Farms is giving its vaccinated workers a $500 bonus, the Wall Street Journal reported, while retailer Dollar General is offering an extra four hours of pay for those who can prove they got a shot.
In the months since coronavirus vaccines have become widely available, some workers have been blindsided by their bosses’ demands to get inoculated.
“It was shocking to me,” Bonnie Jacobson told The Post after losing her waitress job in Brooklyn in February. “I went through the stages: I’m hurt, I’m in shock — then I got mad.”