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EEOC Rejects COVID-19 Antibody Tests

Yesterday, the EEOC answered a question that has perplexed employers for weeks: Under the ADA, may employers require antibody testing before they permit employees to re-enter the workplace?

An antibody test is a medical examination under the ADA. The CDC has issued Interim Guidelines stating that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” Consistent with those guidelines, the EEOC has concluded that such tests do not meet the ADA’s “job-related and consistent with business necessity” standard for medical examinations or inquiries for current employees. Thus, according to the EEOC, employers may not require antibody testing before they allow employees to re-enter the workplace.

A COVID-19 viral test, however, is a different matter. A viral test determines if someone has an active COVID-19 infection. Those tests, according to the EEOC, the ADA permits.


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