Last week, we outlined CDC-approved recommendations for employers to take to determine the risk of, and to prevent workplace exposures to, the coronavirus/COVID-19.

The EEOC recently updated its guidance on steps employers can take that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As to current employees, employers can:

  • Send employees who display influenza-like symptoms home from work, and require them to stay at home.
  • Ask employees who call in sick if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat).
  • Take employees’ body temperatures, even though some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever, so doing so may not be worthwhile.
  • Require employees returning to work to provide fitness-for-duty doctor’s notes, although employers must be flexible here given the strain on doctors’ time during the pandemic.

Employers must keep all information about employees’ health information confidential and separate from other employee information.

As to applicants/prospective employees, employers can:

  • Screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer, as long as it does the same for all entering employees in the same type of job.
  • Delay the start date of an applicant who has COVID-19 or symptoms of it.
  • Withdraw a job offer if the position needs to be filled immediately, but the applicant has COVID-19 or symptoms of it.

We’ll continue to monitor and provide updates on the ever-evolving issues employers face in dealing with the coronavirus.

This post was written by Justin Barron

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