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EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 Guidelines


Many new questions and answers were added to assist employers in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

On June 11, 2020, EEOC issued an update to its COVID-19 technical assistance publication which includes new many new questions and answers about the pandemic. Some of the new questions include:

  • What does an employee need to do in order to request reasonable accommodation from her employer, because she has one of the medical conditions that CDC says may put her at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19? (5/5/20)
  • What are examples of accommodation that, absent undue hardship, may eliminate (or reduce to an acceptable level) a direct threat to self? (5/5/20)
  • If an employer provides telework, modified schedules, or other benefits to employees with school-age children due to school closures or distance learning during the pandemic, are there sex discrimination considerations? (6/11/20)
  • Due to the pandemic, may an employer exclude an employee form the workplace involuntarily due to pregnancy? (6/11/20)
  • How may employers respond to pandemic-related harassment, in particular against employees who are or are perceived to be Asian? (6/11/20)
  • An employer learns that an employee who is teleworking due to the pandemic is sending harassing emails to another worker. What actions should the employer take? (6/11/20)

On June 17, 2020, EEOC issued an update to its publication “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws" and added the following question:

  • CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In light of this CDC guidance, under the ADA, may an employer require antibody testing before permitting employees to re-enter the workplace?

In response to inquiries from the public, the EEOC has provided resources on its website related to the pandemic in an employment context. The agency will continue to monitor developments and provide assistance to the public as needed.

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