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Labor Law: Employers need to know what steps they can take in hiring during a pandemic


During the COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to make sure that during the hiring process they comply with all the state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and understand workers’ rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirmed that employers are permitted to screen applicants for employment for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer, as long as it does so for all entering employees in the same job type.

Furthermore, the ADA permits an employer to take an applicant’s temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam, although the EEOC correctly points out that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.

For any applicant with a conditional job offer who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the virus, the employer can delay the start date of the applicant because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance states that these individuals should not be in the workplace. “The ADA does not interfere with employers following recommendations of the CDC or public health authorities, and employers should feel free to do so,” the EEOC said in its recently updated Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act guidance that addresses hiring and other considerations for employers during COVID-19. The guidance initially was issued in 2009 in response to the H1N1 virus. FULL ARTICLE