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EEOC Issues Guidance on What Employers Should Know about the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and the Coronavirus

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EEOC refers to its 2009 technical assistance document on preparing for a pandemic incident.

EEOC indicates that even though the ADA and Rehabilitation Act continue to apply to employers, they "do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC." EEOC refers to its 2009 technical assistance documents titled "Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act" which primarily addresses pandemic influenza; however, it is appropriate for the Coronavirus.

The guidance provides answers to the following questions, and more:

  • May an ADA-covered employer ask an employee to disclose if he or she has a compromised immune system or chronic health condition that the CDC says could make him or her more susceptible to complications of influenza?
  • How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce during a Coronavirus-like event?
  • When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a Coronavirus-like event?
  • Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the Coronavirus?
  • When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors' notes certifying their fitness for duty?

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