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Sunday, September 24, 2023

EEOC updates COVID-19 steering: Employment & Labor Insider

This isn’t essentially the most thrilling employment regulation information, however the Equal Employment Alternative Fee has issued some updates to its technical help on COVID-19. In accordance with an EEOC media launch, the modifications have been prompted by the tip of the general public well being emergency.


You may be glad to know that the modifications aren’t radical.

Listed here are the highlights, with references to the related part of the technical help. If you’re nonetheless having COVID-related points in your office, you would possibly need to learn the total steering, which is offered right here. The updates that the EEOC thought have been notably vital are in daring under.

24 updates from the EEOC on COVID-19

  • If an worker calls in sick, it is nonetheless alright to ask whether or not the worker has COVID or signs of COVID. (A.1)
  • Employers ought to proceed to depend on steering from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention about COVID signs. (A.2)
  • Usually, taking an worker’s temperature is a “medical examination,” which implies it might’t be completed until “job-related and according to enterprise necessity.” But when CDC or different public well being steering says a fever is “a attainable indication of an infection,” then it is all proper to take the worker’s temperature. (A.3)
  • If CDC steering recommends that staff with COVID or COVID signs keep residence for a sure time frame, it is all proper for the employer to require its staff to remain out of labor for the really helpful interval. (A.4)
  • It is okay for an employer to ask all staff coming into the office whether or not they’ve been recognized with COVID or examined for COVID. If according to “CDC-recommended isolation protocols,” the employer can bar staff with COVID or COVID signs from the office. (A.8)
  • If the employer desires to require all staff, or explicit staff, to be examined for COVID or to have their temperatures taken, these measures have to be “job-related and according to enterprise necessity.” Once more, let the CDC be your information. (A.9)
  • You may’t ask an worker whether or not his or her members of the family have COVID or signs of COVID. That may violate the Genetic Data Nondiscrimination Act. (A.10)
  • If an worker refuses to cooperate with the employer’s lawful COVID-screening measures, the employer can require that worker to remain out of the office. However the EEOC recommends asking what the priority is. If confidentiality, then the employer might be able to get cooperation by reassuring the worker that medical data will stay confidential. If the worker wants an affordable lodging, the employer ought to focus on that with the worker and think about offering it. (A.11)
  • If an worker reviews feeling sick at work, it is alright to ask whether or not the worker has COVID or COVID signs and to take no matter actions are really helpful by the CDC. (A.12)
  • It is alright to maintain an worker’s COVID-related medical data within the worker’s common medical file (with non-COVID-related medical data) — which, as I am positive you all know, have to be stored separate from the worker’s personnel file. (B.1)
  • It is alright to display candidates for COVID signs after a conditional supply of employment has been made, however even earlier than if the employer requires it of everyone coming into the worksite. (C.1)
  • It is okay to supply a brief cheap lodging for COVID whereas determining what sort of long-term lodging might be wanted. (D.7)
  • It is okay to ask staff to request cheap lodging that they might want once they return to the office. (D.8)
  • Pandemic-related situations (for instance, provide chain points) could also be taken into consideration when figuring out whether or not a selected cheap lodging can be an “undue hardship,” but when so, the employer and worker ought to work collectively to attempt to discover different lodging. (D.10, 11)
  • Cheap lodging for lengthy COVID would possibly embrace “a quiet workspace, use of noise cancelling or white noise units, and uninterrupted worktime to handle mind fog; different lighting and decreasing glare to handle complications; relaxation breaks to handle joint ache or shortness of breath; a versatile schedule or telework to handle fatigue; and elimination of ‘marginal capabilities’ that contain bodily exertion to handle shortness of breath.” (D.19)
  • The tip of the general public well being emergency doesn’t imply that employers can mechanically give up making cheap lodging that will nonetheless be wanted. (D.20)
  • When offering harassment coaching, employers ought to think about overlaying harassment of staff who’re nonetheless sporting masks or taking different COVID-related precautions. The coaching also can cowl harassment of staff who’ve been exempted from getting vaccinated as a consequence of a non secular objection. (E.2)
  • Pregnant staff who do not need to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID ought to be handled the identical as those that do not get vaccinated due to disabilities or spiritual beliefs. (Okay.2)
  • Employers can nonetheless supply limitless incentives to staff to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID, so long as the employer or its agent shouldn’t be the one administering the vaccines. Vaccine data have to be stored confidential. (Okay.16)
  • Lengthy COVID might be a “incapacity” throughout the that means of the Individuals with Disabilities Act if it “considerably limits” a “main life exercise” or “main bodily operate,” even when it lasts only some months. But when the signs are extra like chilly or flu signs and “resolve in a matter of weeks,” then lengthy COVID shouldn’t be a incapacity. You’ve gotten most likely figured this out already, however figuring out whether or not a case of lengthy COVID is a incapacity would require an “individualized evaluation.” (N.2, N.4)
  • An individual who has or had previously lengthy COVID also can have a “report of” a incapacity or be “thought to be” having a incapacity beneath the ADA. (N.5, N.6)
  • It is alright to request medical documentation earlier than granting a request for cheap lodging of lengthy COVID. (N.11)
  • An employer can voluntarily accommodate lengthy COVID even when it is not required to take action. Duh. (N.12)

That is it! Because of the EEOC for unexciting steering. Boring is nice.

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