The EEOC’s 42-minute COVID-19 webinar explained in about 4.2 minutes.


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Sound good to you?

On Friday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posted a webinar addressing questions arising under any of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar was mainly the A to a bunch of Q’s that people like you submitted about the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the federal employment nondiscrimination laws the EEOC enforces – including the American’s with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII, and GINA. The webinar supplements the COVID-19 publications already available on the EEOC’s website: “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19” and “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

I started watching it on YouTube and, look folks; it’s not exactly Tiger King or Ozark. But, I never tapped out. Instead, here are some of the answers to questions that I thought might interest you?

Should you be asking Coronavirus health questions to someone who is currently teleworking?

  • Probably not.

What if, during this coronavirus pandemic, an employee at work refuses to let you take his/her temperature?

  • You can bar him/her from the workplace.

Can you ask an employee in the office if s/he has family members with COVID-19?

  • A better question is to ask if the employee has had contact with anyone who has COVID-19 (or symptoms)

Can a manager share the identity of an employee with COVID-19?

  • Yes, but on a limited need-to-know basis. (This is one of those ‘it depends’).

Can an employer exclude only older employees from the workplace based on guidance from the CDC?

  • No. ADEA violation.

But does an employer have to grant an older employee’s request to telework?

  • No.

Same question, but a pregnant employee instead of an older worker.

  • Yes, if the employer provides similar accommodations to others who are similar in that inability to work.

Same question, but a disabled employee instead of a pregnant employee.

  • Yes, if the request for accommodation is reasonable and will not create an undue hardship.

Is COVID-19 an actual disability under the ADA?

  • Unclear, maybe, not sure.

Is telework now a reasonable accommodation going forward?

  • Not necessarily. If teleworking now excuses an employee from performing an essential job function temporarily, then the company will not have to do so after the pandemic ends. Reasonable accommodation never involves removing essential job functions. Each case is fact-specific.

That’s it. ***checks watch***

Finished with time to spare.




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