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EEOC Answers Key Questions for Employers, Including Whether Employers Can Identify an Employee Diagnosed With COVID-19 to a Public Health Agency

Employers have been struggling with exactly what information they are permitted to disclose to a public health agency when an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19. The EEOC yesterday for the first time advised that, at least under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers may disclose the employee’s name to the public health agency. However, employers will still need to be mindful of other more stringent state restrictions and privacy concerns. The EEOC also said that a temporary staffing agency or contractor that places an employee in an employer’s workplace may notify the employer if it learns the employee has COVID-19.

Employers should, however, continue to take steps to limit the number of people who know the name of the employee. While it is important to conduct a close contacts analysis and notify co-workers and other individuals who may have come into contact with the employee, employers should not disclose the employee’s identity.

The EEOC also addressed several other important questions from employers in its updated “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 101

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About this Author

Tara Burke Employment lawyer Jackson Lewis
Of Counsel

Tara K. Burke is Of Counsel in the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She works with employers to build positive and inclusive workplaces and reduce legal risk through policy development, training, and employment law counseling.  

Ms. Burke provides practical and legal advice to clients on employment law issues including harassment and discrimination prevention, diversity and inclusion, hiring and interviewing, internal investigations, disability accommodation and leave management, reductions in force, individual separations and employee relations...

513-322-5027
Patricia Anderson Pryor, Class Action, Litigator
Principal and Office Litigation Manager

Patricia Anderson Pryor is a Shareholder in the Cincinnati, Ohio office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Pryor is an experienced litigator in both state and federal courts, representing and defending employers in nearly every form of employment litigation, including class actions.

She represents and advises employers in federal and state administrative proceedings, in all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, and in managing all aspects of the employment relationship. She has represented employers before the EEOC, the DOL, the DOJ, the OFCCP, and the NLRB, in addition to various state agencies. Ms. Pryor also works with employers to avoid litigation by developing effective policies and practices, including harassment policies, social media policies, FMLA practices, attendance programs, affirmative action programs and wellness plans. She conducts proactive wage and hour audits, harassment investigations and compensation reviews

513-322-5035
Katharine Weber, JacksonLewis Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
Principal

Ms. Weber has experience litigating wrongful discharge cases; managing discrimination cases; negotiating collective bargaining agreements; representing employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal, Ohio and Kentucky agencies; advising management on employment relations; drafting employee handbooks; and negotiating severance agreements.

Ms. Weber regularly advises clients on wage and hour issues. Over the past five years she has served as lead counsel on various wage and hour class and...

513-898-0050