As workplaces begin reopening in the coming weeks, attorneys are predicting a rash of lawsuits by employees against their employers related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems clear that workers-compensation preemption may immunize employers from most civil actions alleging that employees became infected with the virus on the job. However, other types of employee lawsuits
The EEOC has updated its COVID-19 Guidance by adding a number of new FAQs to address issues related to the anticipated re-entry into the workplace. The new FAQs discuss things like: an employer’s right to screen employees before entering the workplace to avoid a “direct threat” to the health and safety of employees; documentation to…
Employer-sponsored “wellness programs” have become very popular, and are touted for the potential benefits to employees and employers alike: reduced absenteeism, lowered health care costs, reduced injuries, improved morale and productivity. But are these programs compliant with the ADA and other federal laws?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued proposed regulations that are hoped to help employers make the most out of wellness programs while complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The EEOC is also publishing a fact sheet for small businesses and a “Q&A” for the general public.
Key points from the guidelines:
Employers covered by the ADA (i.e. with 15 or more employees), who generally are restricted from collecting medical information from employees under the ADA, can do so as part of a wellness program. The wellness program must be designed to promote health and prevent disease, and must have a “reasonable chance” of improving health or prevent disease. If it is, an employer may conduct voluntary medical examinations, including voluntary medical histories, as part of an employee health program available to employees, but still must comply with the ADA, including non-discrimination, reasonable accommodation, and confidentiality requirements.…
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