he Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on April 23 on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and coronavirus, explaining that employers may screen employees for COVID-19. Any mandatory medical test must be job-related and consistent with business necessity, the EEOC explained.

“Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others,” the agency stated. Consequently, an employer may administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace.

The tests should be accurate and reliable, the agency added, noting that employers should review guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and check updates.

“Employers may wish to consider the incidence of false positives or false negatives with a particular test,” the EEOC added. “Note that accurate testing only reveals if the virus is currently present; a negative test does not mean the employee will not acquire the virus later.”

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