EEOC Supplements COVID-19 Guidance To Address Return To Work Questions

Volume: 19 | Issue: 24
May 11, 2020

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to update its COVID-19 guidance. The EEOC now answers questions on return to work issues and how to address employees with underlying medical conditions that may put them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19  (via questions G1-G5).

The EEOC especially cautions that if an employee with an underlying medical condition does not request an accommodation, the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require the employer to take any action and the employer cannot bar the employee from the workplace. In this situation, a concerned employer can engage in the direct threat analysis to determine whether the employee’s disability poses a direct threat to his own health. This requires an extensive analysis of the employee’s medical condition and the nature of the risk to the employee in light of his job duties. “Even if an employer determines that an employee’s disability poses a direct threat to his own health, the employer still cannot exclude the employee from the workplace – or take any other adverse action – unless there is no way to provide a reasonable accommodation (absent undue hardship).”

If you have questions about return to work issues or the EEOC’s guidance, please contact a KZA attorney.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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