EEOC Releases Pandemic Guidance
PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS IN THE WORKPLACE AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
As of March 18, 2020, Governor DeWine has advised that Ohio employers should immediately begin taking the temperature of every single employee, every day who reports to work. If an employee is sick, Governor DeWine has asked that the employer send the employee home.
While The EEOC previously released guidance for pandemic planning during the prior H1N1 outbreak, The EEOC has now released specific COVID-19 Pandemic Guidance. Below are some key takeaways for commonly asked questions.
- ADA-covered employers can ask employees it they are experiencing symptoms and send employees home if they display any symptoms during the pandemic.
- During a widespread pandemic, ADA-covered employers can take their employees’ temperatures.
- When an employee returns from travel during the pandemic, an employer can ask questions about exposure before the employee displays symptoms.
- During a pandemic, once local health officials have identified a severe or serious risk, employers may ask employees if they have any medical condition that the CDC identifies as making the person especially vulnerable.
- Employers can encourage employees to work remotely or telework as an infection-control strategy during a pandemic.
- Employers can also require employees to engage in infection-control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper use and disposal of a tissue.
- During a pandemic, an employer must continue to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with known disabilities, including providing any accommodation needed for the employee to work remotely, unless it presents an undue hardship.
- When an employee has been away from work during the pandemic and then returns to work, employers can require the employee to provide a doctor’s note certifying the employee is fit to return to work.