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Video: Can employers take employees' temperatures due to COVID-19?

Video Transcript:

My name is Marisa Sandler and welcome to today’s HR Minute. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has put New York State on pause requiring non-essential business to reduce their in-person workforces by 100% until May 15th. But what happens when employees return to work? Can employers screen employees for COVID-19? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency which enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), says you can, because of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a general rule, the ADA prohibits employers from requiring employees to submit to medical examinations such as taking body temperature during employment unless the medical examinations are job related and consistent with business necessity, which means that an employer has a reasonable belief based on objective evidence that the employee poses a direct threat due to a medical condition. Based on guidance issued by the CDC and public health authorities, the Coronavirus pandemic is considered to meet this direct threat standard. So, while measuring an employee’s body temperature is not usually permitted, the EEOC is permitting it under this limited circumstance. Thank you. Marisa Sandler, Tannenbaum Helpern.

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04.24.2020  |  PUBLICATION: HRMinute  |  TOPICS: Employment

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