The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for any employer seeking to provide a healthy working environment. To help mitigate some of the uncertainty, on March 18, 2020, the EEOC issued updated guidance for employers considering screening and testing protocols for employees and job applicants. These efforts, along with a growing patchwork of state and local laws, are intended to slow the spread of infections. The EEOC guidance explains what precautionary measures are now permissible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including:

How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic?

EEOC: During a pandemic, ADA-covered employers may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. Employers must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.

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