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The EEOC Issues Additional Guidance in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

Earlier this week, we published an Alert that reviews the EEOC’s recent guidance entitled What Employers Should Know about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19. This Alert reviews the additional guidance that the EEOC issued on March 19.

May an employer screen job applicants for COVID-19 symptoms?

“Yes”, says the EEOC. An employer may screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after the employers make a conditional job offer, if it does so for all entering employees in the same type of job. This ADA rule applies whether or not the applicant has a disability.

May an employer take an applicant's body temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam?

Again, the answer is “yes.” Taking an applicant’s temperature constitutes a medical examination. And, an employer may require applicants to submit to a medical examination if the employer has made a conditional employment offer. Remember, though, that some people with COVID-19 have no fever.

May an employer delay a new hire’s start date because he or she has COVID-19 or associated symptoms?

Once more the EEOC says “yes.” And, its answer echoes current CDC guidance, which says that individuals who have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it should remain away from the workplace.

May an employer withdraw a job offer when it needs the applicant to start immediately but the applicant has COVID-19 or associated symptoms?

Yes. Based on current CDC guidance, that applicant cannot safely enter the workplace. Thus, according to the EEOC, the employer may withdraw its job offer.

This is part of a series of Alerts that address issues, of interest to employers, implicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What the EEOC says that Employers Should Know about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19


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