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EEOC Says Companies Can Test Employees For Virus

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April 28, 2020

Restricting access to the workplace based on a medical exam is normally frowned upon by the EEOC, but not so with respect to tests for determining whether an employee has the Covid-19 virus. This exception is based on a provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act that allows for mandatory medical testing when the test is “job related and consistent with business necessity.” A post from law firm Barnes & Thornburgh includes a link to the EEOC’s recent release, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” along with a brief explanation of the main provisions that relate to testing. The EEOC release also covers a number of other Covid-related questions for employers, including confidentiality, how much information can be required from a potential hire, and whether an employer can take an applicant’s temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam. The law firm post includes some important cautions about testing, including the need to ensure the specific test being employed is reliable.

 

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