Tuesday 27 October 2020

EEOC's New COVID-19 Guidance

General Counsel News has a link to an article in the HR Daily Advisor that gives a a helpful summary of newly updated guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission addressing common questions about federal employment laws and COVID-19. The article points out that the new EEOC guidance, available here, pulls together information from other agency resources, modified two existing questions and answers, and added 18 new ones. It addresses question about COVID-19 testing and inquiries in the workplace; confidentiality of medical information and reasonable accommodations for COVID-19. From the article:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted employers’ normal operations in virtually every way, but it’s important for you to stay abreast of the EEOC’s guidance on employment laws during this challenging time. The agency’s recent update clarified:
You may conduct coronavirus screening tests and inquiries to all employees returning to the workplace, but you must have a reasonable belief that an individual has COVID-19 or its symptoms if you wish to conduct a test or make inquiries to the person.
To the extent possible, you must keep confidential all medical information about employees, including COVID-19 details.
Finally, if employees request a reasonable accommodation, you must engage in the interactive process by discussing what they need and the reasons why."

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