EEOC Issues Guidance on the Permissibility of Mandatory COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace
May, 2020 - Lisa Cleary, Douglas Tang, Sara Arrow, Ryan Kurtz
On April 23, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued new guidance clarifying that employers may conduct mandatory testing of employees for COVID-19 before they enter the workplace so long as the testing is “job related and consistent with business necessity.” The new guidance explains that employers may choose to test an employee for the virus before entering the workplace because an individual with COVID-19 will pose a direct threat to the health of others. The new guidance also echoes earlier EEOC guidance clarifying that employers may measure an employee’s body temperature because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and other public health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions.
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