March 03, 2020

Susan Kline Examines Employer Precautions During Coronavirus Scare With SHRM

As COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus, continues to spread, employers are taking precautions to prevent outbreaks in the workplace.

In her comments provided to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Labor & Employment partner Susan Kline emphasized that employers should monitor current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance because it could prevent them from infringing on employee rights.

As reported by SHRM, some U.S. employers have turned to infrared forehead thermometers to measure employee’s temperatures, sending home those with fevers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on this practice suggests that it could be considered too invasive, although the law is not entirely clear.

In the past, the EEOC has cited the CDC as a source of information in related matters, according to Kline. Monitoring the CDC’s guidance is crucial to helping establish job relatedness and business necessity under the ADA.

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