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EEOC Greenlights COVID-19 Testing Under ADA

Per recent guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employees may be tested for the coronavirus prior to entering a worksite without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers requiring medical tests must ensure the tests are "job related and consistent with business necessity” under the ADA. Screening workers for COVID-19 is legally permissible according to the EEOC, since those who are carriers will “pose a direct threat to the health of others,” as long as the employer uses tests that are “accurate and reliable.”

Employers are directed to guidance from public health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for information on questions of safety and accuracy. The EEOC reminded employers that regardless of testing measures, infection control practices including social distancing, handwashing, and PPE also should be observed. The agency did not offer any guidance regarding the use by Employers of serology (antibody) or other related tests.