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Hiring During the COVID-19 Pandemic

FAQ's Hiring During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Question 1. May an employer screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 during the hiring process? (Updated April 8, 2020)

  • Answer 1. Yes. The EEOC has indicated that an employer may screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer, provided the employer does so for all applicants in the same job classification on a post-offer basis.

Q2. May an employer take an applicant's body temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam? (Updated April 8, 2020)

  • A2. Yes. While the EEOC indicates that taking the body temperature of an applicant or employee is considered a medical examination, the ADA permits medical exams after an employer has made a conditional offer of employment to an applicant. However, the EEOC reminds employers to be aware that not all individuals who have COVID-19 have a fever.

Q3. May an employer postpone the employment start date of an applicant who presents symptoms or has been confirmed to have COVID-19? (Updated April 8, 2020)

  • A3. Yes. As with current employees, the EEOC confirms that the ADA is not being interpreted to prevent an employer from following CDC recommendations, and thus an employer may exclude symptomatic applicants from the workplace and delay their start date until released by their healthcare provider or otherwise meet the criteria to return to work. (See question 6.) Direction and recommendations from public health authorities will likely change as the COVID-19 pandemic further develops, and employers should continue to follow the most recent guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities.

Q4. May an employer withdraw a job offer extended to an applicant who is symptomatic or is confirmed to have COVID-19? (Updated April 8, 2020)

  • A4. Yes. The EEOC has opined that an employer may withdraw the job offer of an applicant who has symptoms or is confirmed to have COVID-19 based on current CDC guidance indicating that such individuals should not be in the workplace.

This general guidance is based on U.S. federal employment law and the current medical assessment of COVID-19. State and local laws may apply, and medical assessments may change, resulting in different conclusions.
© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.

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Ogletree Deakins’ employment lawyers are experienced in all aspects of employment law, from day-to-day advices to complex employment litigation. Our litigation practice includes deep experience with myriad laws governing the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the WARN Act and many other federal and state laws. Our workplace dispute...

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