The EEOC updated its Q&As on COVID-19 and the pandemic in light of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. The highlights are as follows:

  • Employers may:
    • Require accurate and reliable COVID-19 tests in order to decide who may return to work when employees will be physically entering the workplace.
    • Ask employees who will be physically entering the workplace if they have been diagnosed with, tested for, or exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
    • Ask employees who will be physically entering the workplace if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19.
    • Exclude employees with COVID-19 related symptoms or exposure from the physical workplace.
    • Bar employees from the physical workplace if the employees refuse pre-work screenings (e.g., questions about symptoms or temperature screenings).
    • Ask employees who will be physically entering the workplace about where they have traveled before allowing their return to work.
    • Screen applicants for COVID-19 symptoms at the post-offer stage.
    • Withdraw an offer or postpone a start date if an applicant has COVID-19 or related symptoms if the employee will be physically entering the workplace.
    • Be excused from responding as quickly to accommodation requests because of unexpected or increased reasonable accommodation requests.
  • Employers may not:
    • Use anti-body testing as a requirement for returning to work.
    • Ask employees who are teleworking if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
    • Ask only some employees about COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, unless there is a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that this person may have the disease.
    • Ask employees about family members who have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19. To do so would violate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Employees can be asked about contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or with COVID-19 related symptoms, but the inquiry cannot be specific to family members.
    • Disclose to others why an employee is on leave or teleworking (if due to COVID-19 symptoms, quarantine, or diagnosis).
    • Terminate, fail to hire, or place on leave employees who are at high-risk to have COVID-19 complications.
  • It is not a confidentiality violation if:
    • An employee reports that another employee has symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • An employer is not required to:
    • Provide the same accommodations during telework that were provided in the workplace, if they are not feasible during the temporary telework period.
    • Grant telework for every disability as an accommodation after the workplace reopens.

A link to the guidance, here.