Updated on March 31, 2020, with the changes made to the CARES Act that became law on March 27, 2020.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is another federal law that employers with more than 15 employees need to be considering during this time. Generally, the ADA prohibits medical examinations and inquiries under typical or standard conditions. Those general guidelines give way during a pandemic when the safety of all employees may be at issue.
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed and President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which we first described to you on March 16, 2020, following its passage of the U.S. House of Representatives. This new law comes as employers around the world are reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lanier Ford's employment lawyers have already provided guidance to multiple employers to assist them in responding to this virtually unprecedented issue.
In a little-noticed posting on its website, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this week provided some relief to employers from their ordinary obligations to avoid activities that might constitute a "medical test." Typically, employers in the United States covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are required to refrain from conducting "medical examinations" of their employees except under certain limits set out in ADA regulations. Some of these exceptions include—