MSK Minute: Hilary Feybush Discusses New EEOC Return to Workplace Guidance

In this video, MSK attorney Hilary Feybush discusses the most recent update to return to workplace guidance issued by the EEOC, which covers questions relating to an employer’s obligation to provide accommodations to “high risk” employees and other considerations for a safe return to the office. Continue reading MSK Minute: Hilary Feybush Discusses New EEOC Return to Workplace Guidance

Protecting At-Risk Employees

Employers Cannot Exclude At-Risk Employees, Says EEOC in New Return-to-Work Guidance 

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein

The EEOC recently answered the question whether employers can bar from the workplace employees who, according to the CDC, are at a “higher risk for severe illness” if they get COVID-19.

In the words of the EEOC in its press release: “It is important that employers understand that the ADA does not allow them to act against employees solely because the employee has a CDC-listed underlying medical condition.”

An employer cannot exclude — or take any other adverse action against — an employee solely because he/she falls within the CDC identified high risk category.  Instead, the employer must determine whether the “employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” Continue reading “Protecting At-Risk Employees”

Employees Put to the Test

Employers May Test Employees for COVID-19 Before Allowing Their Return to Workplace, EEOC Says Written by Jeremy Mittman and Thea Rogers The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) said in guidance released Thursday that employers may administer COVID-19 testing to employees in order to determine if they have the virus, prior to permitting them to return to the workplace.  The agency stated that this latest … Continue reading Employees Put to the Test

Accommodation Landmines Await

EEOC Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation and Return-to-Work Issues

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Corey Singer 

On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance for employers, providing further technical assistance about complying with workplace issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the EEOC’s new Q&As for employers concern how to handle employees’ accommodation requests in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For instance, the agency advised that employers may ask questions or request medical documentation to determine if the employee has a “disability” under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”).  Employers also may forgo or shorten the “interactive process” and grant the accommodation requests, if necessary. Continue reading “Accommodation Landmines Await”

EEOC on COVID-19

EEOC Issues Guidance on the ADA, Rehabilitation Act & COVID-19 Written by Jeremy Mittman Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Commission issued guidance related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The EEOC specified that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers … Continue reading EEOC on COVID-19

The EEOC Is Keeping Busy: EEOC Issues Additional Guidance About the ADA & Final Rules on Wellness Programs

By Emma Luevano

EEOC Guidance on Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Concerned about the number of complaints filed against employers for failing to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued a reminder to employers about their obligations. While clarifying that the additional guidance does not create any new obligations, the EEOC reminded employers about the following:

* It is not sufficient to grant employees the maximum amount of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and/or state equivalent (such as California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”)) to meet obligations under the ADA.  Instead, under the ADA, employers must also consider granting additional leave as a form of reasonable accommodation (beyond that required by the FMLA or CFRA), unless doing so will create an undue hardship for the employer.  As the EEOC indicated, “the Commission takes the position that compliance with the FMLA does not necessarily meet an employer’s obligation under the ADA, and the fact that any additional leave exceeds what is permitted under the FMLA, by itself, is not sufficient to show an undue hardship.”  As you already may know, the “undue hardship” standard is not easy for employers to meet. Continue reading “The EEOC Is Keeping Busy: EEOC Issues Additional Guidance About the ADA & Final Rules on Wellness Programs”