As we serve our community of professionals who accommodate and support employees with disabilities, we’re working together to help them understand and respond to health issues that are caused by COVID-19.
Specifically, we want to establish the guidelines of how these employees who are affected by COVID-19 are covered by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Does the ADA Cover People Recovering from COVID Related Issues ?
The way that the ADA was written had the foresight to accommodate new health challenges that would occur, like COVID-19. One very crucial section of the ADA is how legislation defines a disability. The definition of a “person with a disability” is
“Someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.”
This wording helps those in our profession extend benefits to those that need it by providing us the discretion to focus on the effects of their symptoms rather than cause of their symptoms. This allows us to help, support, and accommodate those who have long lasting physical and/or mental repercussions from contracting or living through COVID-19.
Many of the Questions We Face Are Answered by the USEEOC
For our professional colleagues, we wanted to share an illuminating article from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that answers many questions about how to respond to the challenges that COVID-19 has brought with it.
For instance, this page addresses:
- How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- When may an employer take the body temperature of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the COVID-19?
- May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) when evaluating an employee’s initial or continued presence in the workplace?
- May employers ask all employees physically entering the workplace if they have been diagnosed with or tested for COVID-19?
- May a manager ask only one employee—as opposed to asking all employees—questions designed to determine if she has COVID-19, or require that this employee alone have her temperature taken or undergo other screening or testing?
These questions and many more related to such issues as:
- Pandemic-Related Harassment Due to National Origin or Race
Are available on this page: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
Contact the ADA Experts at Strategic Consulting
Our team is here to help with your disabilities accommodation issues, vocational rehabilitation needs, ergonomic evaluations, and other employee needs.
We have partnered and provided solutions to some of the largest companies in the world (such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon). But, at our core, we are still “people taking care of people,” one project at a time. Our success is built upon and providing you the best solution to your workplace challenge. Contact us today by filling out a form (below), submitting a referral, or visiting our ‘Contact Us‘ page to find your nearest office.