The EEOC has issued guidance on what employers can and cannot do to protect their workforce and clientele from coronavirus. Typically, an employer covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act cannot conduct or require employees to submit to a medical examination as a condition of employment unless the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The EEOC considers taking an employee’s temperature a “medical examination” under the ADA. However, because the World Health Organization has officially declared a pandemic, the new EEOC guidance states that “the ADA and Rehabilitation Act do not interfere with employers from following the CDC and other public health authorities on appropriate steps to take relating to the workplace.” Because the CDC and state and local authorities have acknowledged community spread of the virus, and have issued related precautions, the EEOC guidance states that “employers may measure employees’ body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.” If you are an ADA-covered employer considering taking employees’ body temperatures to stop the spread of the virus, contact us to help you set parameters for testing that will protect you as well as your employees.

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