EEOC Adds New FAQs on COVID-19 and EEO Laws

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to add to its resource page detailing questions and answers related to COVID-19 and the EEO laws that the agency enforces. New topics added address questions related to employer inquiries about employees' COVID-19 symptoms, temperature checking and similar tests, special questions applicable to employees who may be vulnerable to COVID-19, and reasonable accommodations.  A few examples of the information provided include:

  • Federal “EEO Laws, including the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, continue to apply during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  An important theme throughout the updated resource is that employers should continue to follow the guidelines and suggestions made by the Center for Disease Control or your state/local public health authorities about combating COVID-19 within the workforce.
  • All information obtained by employers concerning symptoms related to COVID-19 – including an employee’s disclosure that he/she has COVID-19, that he /she believes he/she has COVID 19, and symptoms relating to COVID-19 – should be kept confidential and stored separately from the employee’s personnel file. If an employer takes an employee’s temperature, this too, should be kept separately.  
  • The ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements are still relevant and employers should take such requests seriously, including requests relating to teleworking.
  • Employers should not screen out or treat differently certain types of individuals because they may have been identified as high risk groups, such as individuals over the age of 65 or individuals with certain medical conditions.

Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have a question you would like forwarded to the EEOC.

EEOC also maintains a COVID-19 resources website.

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