Splitting the baby on 50 years of precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has clarified that employers must grant a religious accommodation request under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) unless the accommodation would result in “substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of [their] particular business.” On June
As companies call employees back to the physical workplace, more employers are electing to implement mandatory vaccination policies to keep employees safe amidst the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. In turn, some employees are seeking accommodations, asserting that disabilities or religious beliefs prevent them from being vaccinated. Employers should develop consistent standards for handling…
On June 11 and June 17, 2020, the EEOC updated “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” its Q&A technical assistance guidance for COVID-19 related issues. The new guidance expands its previous guidance, answering additional questions on several topics, including COVID-19 antibody tests, “high risk” employees (which we blogged about here), accommodations for employee screenings, how to handle national origin discrimination, and whether an employer’s safety concerns permit the exclusion of pregnant or older people from the workplace. We have summarized the new Q&A below.
Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Exams
A.7. CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In light of this CDC guidance, under the ADA may an employer require antibody testing before permitting employees to re-enter the workplace?
No. An antibody test constitutes a medical examination under the ADA. In light of CDC’s Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” an antibody test at this time does not meet the ADA’s “job related and consistent with business necessity” standard for medical examinations or inquiries for current employees. Therefore, requiring antibody testing before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace is not allowed under the ADA. Please note that an antibody test is different from a test to determine if someone has an active case of COVID-19 (i.e., a viral test). The EEOC has already stated that COVID-19 viral tests are permissible under the ADA.
The EEOC will continue to closely monitor CDC’s recommendations, and could update this discussion in response to changes in CDC’s recommendations.Continue Reading More on the Return to Work: the EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Related Guidance
When encouraging employees to wash their hands is not enough!
As the COVID-19 virus spreads rapidly throughout the world, and the possibility of a pandemic declaration inches closer each day, much of the advice to employers so far has focused on generic “good hygiene” recommendations from health departments.This advice is of limited utility for employers…
Last Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) does not require employers to provide additional unpaid leave as an accommodation to employees who have expended their Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave. Although the Seventh Circuit’s ruling upheld its prior decision in Byrne v. Avon Productions Inc., the decision is significant because it directly contradicts the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)’s position that granting additional, long-term unpaid leave to employees is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds that the ADA Does Not Require Additional Unpaid Leave After FMLA Leave Is Exhausted