The EEOC has updated its guidelines during this crisis to provide guidance on what rights employees have in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Here is a summary of those guidelines and employee rights under ADA:

  1.  An employer can ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
  2. An employer can take its employees’ body temperature.  However, the employer needs to be mindful that no everyone with a fever has the coronavirus.
  3. Employees who become ill with COVID-19 like symptoms can be directed to leave work and not return until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
  4. When employees return to work, the employer can require a doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty.  Because health care professionals may be too busy to do a full fitness for duty, Employers should be willing to accept certification, which can be in the form of a stamp or email from a local clinic that an individual does not have coronavirus.
  5. A hiring employer can screen candidates for COVID-19, after making a conditional offer.
  6. If an applicant has COVID-19, his or her start date can be delayed, unless the employer needs someone immediately in the position, then the offer can be withdrawn.
  7. If an employer is requiring employees to work remotely, the employer must still provide reasonable accommodations for the employee, e.g., a screen reader for a laptop the employee is using remotely, unless it is an undue hardship on the employer.

Here is a link to the EEOC’s complete guidelines on the ADA and COVID-19 in the workplace:

https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html

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