EEOC Updates Employer Guidance on Coronavirus and the ADA

HR Compliance Bulletin

On May 7, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued additional answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. The new FAQs were added to guidance that the EEOC previously issued on March 18, 2020, and updated on April 9, 17 and 23, 2020.

The FAQs draw from the EEOC’s existing pandemic publication, Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the ADA, to help employers navigate workplace issues related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In particular, the EEOC’s FAQs include information from a section of the publication that answers employer questions about what to do after a pandemic has been declared. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains the EEOC’s updated FAQs.

Employers are subject to the ADA if they have 15 or more employees. Smaller employers may be subject to similar rules under applicable state
or local laws..

Highlights

ADA Rules Still Apply but Do Not Prevent Safety Measures
Employers must follow ADA rules while observing emergency guidelines issued by federal, state and local health authorities during the pandemic.

Employer Guidance
The EEOC’s pandemic guidance clarifies that employers may:

  • Ask employees if they have COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Require employees to stay home (and to provide medical notes before returning to work) if they have COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Screen applicants for COVID19 symptoms after making conditional job offers.

To read the steps all employers must follow, please download our PDF Here

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