Can Employers Offer COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives for Employees?

Can employers offer incentives for employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine? In short, yes. Incentives may take many forms, such as a one-time bonus, a gift card or a few extra vacation hours. Employers can get creative.

According to McDermott’s Michelle S. Strowhiro, Judith Wethall and Ludia Kwon, there are two issues to consider when implementing a vaccine incentive program for purposes of complying with employment and benefits laws: the concepts of coercion and reasonable accommodation.

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Michelle S. StrowhiroMichelle S. Strowhiro
Michelle S. Strowhiro is an employment advisor and litigator. She provides trusted counsel to US and international companies on all aspects of employment law compliance. Michelle partners with clients to establish and maintain their strong and lawful employment policies and practices; manage their employee relationships from hire to termination; conduct workplace investigations; administer leaves and other workplace accommodations; and resolve disputes. She provides manager and employee trainings on management and sexual harassment. She regularly prepares and negotiates agreements, and advises companies on employment law issues for mergers and acquisitions. Michelle works with clients in the technology, fashion, food and restaurant, health care, sports, media and entertainment industries. Read Michelle Strowhiro's full bio.


Judith WethallJudith Wethall
Judith Wethall focuses her practice on employee benefits, specifically health and welfare programs. She counsels employers, plan administrators, insurers and consultants on a wide range of ERISA compliance issues. Judith's clients include sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies and cover a variety of industries including health care, technology, manufacturing, insurance and financial. Read Judith Wethall's full bio.


Ludia KwonLudia Kwon
Ludia Kwon focuses her practice on employment matters. While in law school, Ludia served as a certified law clerk in the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Read Ludia Kwon's full bio.

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