The EEOC has updated its guidance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” Today’s update addresses the following question:
May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace?
Yes. Employers may test employees entering the workplace to determine if those employees have COVID-19. Such tests are currently allowed because an employee with the virus poses a direct threat to the health of others and, therefore, COVID-19 testing is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”
The EEOC also provides some common sense advice: “employers should ensure that the tests are accurate and reliable.” The United States Food and Drug Administration has provided guidance regarding COVID-19 testing. Remember as well that testing does not eliminate the need for maintaining a safe and clean workplace along with recommended infection control practices.