• Deborah Jenkins

Covid-19 and the ADA

I have been receiving many questions from employers about what they can legally do to protect their employees during Covid-19. As I remind them that I am not a lawyer, I am able to provide information from from reliable sources to address their concerns. If you have similar questions such as:


"Can I ask employees if they have any Covid-19 symptoms?"

"Can I take employees temperatures?"

"Do I need to keep Covid-19 related medical information in a separate employee medical file, per HIPAA?"

"Do I have to let an employee work if they have symptoms of Covid-19?"

"Can I require a doctor's note certifying fitness for duty before an employee returns to work?"


All of these questions are answered by the EEOC at the link below:

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws?


The site covers:

A. Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Exams

B. Confidentiality of Medical Information

C. Hiring and Onboarding

D. Reasonable Accommodation

E. Pandemic-Related Harassment Due to National Origin, Race, or Other Protected Characteristics

F. Furloughs and Layoffs

G. Return to Work

H. Age

I. Caregivers/Family Responsibilities

J. Pregnancy


An example of one of the Q&A's is:


C.4.  May an employer withdraw a job offer when it needs the applicant to start immediately but the individual has COVID-19 or symptoms of it? (3/18/20)

Based on current CDC guidance, this individual cannot safely enter the workplace, and therefore the employer may withdraw the job offer.


*What are your thoughts on this answer?





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