EEOC Updates Recommendations for Employment-Related COVID-19 Testing
Last week, the EEOC quietly updated its workplace guidelines relating to workplace testing for COVID-19. The updated guidelines, available here, review the standards that have been previously applicable to workplace testing (evaluating whether any proposed mandatory medical test is "job related and consistent with business necessity") and apply them in the context of the current pandemic. As per the EEOC,
"Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take screening steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before initially permitting them to enter the workplace and/or periodically to determine if their presence in the workplace poses a direct threat to others. The ADA does not interfere with employers following recommendations by the CDC or other public health authorities regarding whether, when, and for whom testing or other screening is appropriate. Testing administered by employers consistent with current CDC guidance will meet the ADA’s “business necessity” standard."
We encourage our clients to review the current EEOC regulations with their legal counsel to develop appropriate testing practices. That said, the EEOC also indicates that employers must take steps to confirm that their testing is reliable and accurate, in order to be of value as a medical test. In that realm, our team of experts can help you select an effective testing program based on the available products that have FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 screening. We can also help you design and implement intake questionnaire and temperature screening programs.