• Measure an employee’s body temperature • Require employees who have traveled to specific areas with COVID-19 outbreaks or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to remain at home until they do not have COVID-19 • Ask questions of an employee who returns to work after travel to an impacted area even if that employee is not currently showing symptoms • Ask an employee why he or she was absent from work if the employer suspects that it was a for a medical reason
Special note, any medical information received by an employer (such as symptoms, temperature, etc.) must be maintained as confidential medical records.
Additional Employer Steps The EEOC has also clarified that employers may do any of the following steps to assure safe working conditions for all employees: • Encourage employees to work from home • Require employees to adopt infection control practices such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, proper tissue usage and disposal • Require employees to wear personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves, gowns, etc.). Employers may have to accommodate employees with disabilities (such as providing non-latex gloves) Work from Home and Accommodation If an employer requires an employee to work from home as part of COVID-19 mitigation and the employee has an ADA accommodation in their normal work environment, the employer may need to provide the same accommodation in the work from home environment. In addition, it should be noted that employees with disabilities that put them at high risk for complications from a pandemic influenza may request telework as a reasonable accommodation to reduce their chances of infection during a pandemic.
What Can Employers NOT Do? Employers may not do the following things:
• Ask About Medical Conditions: Employers may not ask employees to disclose whether they or a family member have a medical condition that would make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. If the employee voluntarily discloses specific medical condition or disability information, the employer must keep it confidential. • Compel Vaccination: Employers may not compel all employees to take an influenza vaccine (if one is developed). Employees with disabilities or with sincerely held religious beliefs may need accommodation. Confidentiality If an employee is exposed to someone with COVID-19, develops COVID-19 symptoms, or is diagnosed with COVID-19, employers must avoid sharing that personal information with other employees. It is acceptable to provide general notice that someone in the work area has been exposed, has, or may have COVID-19, but employers may not identify the impacted employee.
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