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The employer must meet the "Business Needs" criteria in order to require a worker's COVID-19 inspection.

(Credit: Getty Images)

According to the newly updated federal guidance, employers who use the COVID-19 test to screen employees at or will be at work must meet the “business need” criteria. It will not be.

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has updated its guidance on COVID-19 to see if employers “justify employee virus screening tests to prevent infection in the workplace” for current pandemics and individual workplace conditions. Clarified that we need to evaluate.

The updated guidance addresses issues related to disability-related inquiries and health examinations, primarily in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. The COVID-19 virus test is considered a health check.

This information has been added to the EEOC technical assistance question and answer document “What you need to know about COVID-19 and ADA, rehabilitation methods and other EEO methods”.

“As the pandemic situation progresses, an employer’s individual assessment will be required to determine if such a test is justified in line with ADA requirements,” the Commission said. I admitted.

Previous guidance stated that in most cases the COVID-19 test, which is mandatory for field employees, is legal. The updated guidance allows employers to perform a COVID-19 test when assessing an employee’s presence in the workplace, consistent with the job-related and business needs of the test. It states that it is only if the employer can show that it is.

Criteria for business need are community infection levels, employee vaccination status, accuracy and speed of processing various COVID-19 tests, current COVID-19 variants infectivity and potential severity, and employees. It can be associated with the potential for breakthrough infections in personnel. “To date” about immunization and potential impacts on workplace operations.

Authorities advised that employers should check the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to determine if screening tests are appropriate.

The EEOC also clarified that employers cannot request an antibody test (also considered a health check in ADA) before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace. The Commission previously worked on antibody testing for employees in 2020 based on CDC guidance.

The February CDC said that antibody tests “may not show if an employee is currently infected or prove that the employee is immune to the infection,” the employee goes to work. He said it should not be used to determine if it can be entered.

Based on the CDC guidance, the EEOC stated that antibody testing did not meet the criteria for ADA’s business needs.

The EEOC’s Workplace Pandemic Countermeasures and Americans with Disabilities Act web page provides strategies that employers can use to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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