Can an employer mandate that an employee get a COVID test?
Do you or your organization still have unanswered questions regarding COVID? Are you still unsure how to navigate through this “new normal”? While this is a difficult time for most individuals and organizations, MEA’s HR hotline is here to answer and address all of your HR related questions and concerns.
In our new video series, we are sitting down with MEA employees to give you an inside look at how MEA supports its Members with HR and compliance issues. In this episode of “Coffee with Jane”, Maria Bonelli, Regional Sales Director, sits down virtually with Jane Disher, MEA HR Advisor, to highlight and discuss a popular question that we’ve received on the HR Hotline.
Employer Question: Can an employer mandate that an employee get a COVID test?
MEA Expert: According to the EEOC, an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others.
Employers should ensure that the tests are accurate and reliable. Note that accurate testing only reveals if the virus is currently present; a negative test does not mean the employee will not acquire the virus later.
Based on guidance from medical and public health authorities, employers should still require – to the greatest extent possible – that employees observe infection control practices (such as social distancing, regular hand washing, mask wearing and other measures) in the workplace to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Be sure to keep an eye out for all of our upcoming videos that will highlight top-of-mind compliance issues as we navigate through the new normal!