In the United States, temperature and other symptom checks would normally constitute an overly broad medical exam under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as various state non-discrimination laws. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with CDC and other guidance, the EEOC has provided guidance permitting employers to measure employees’ body temperature and to ask about other COVID-19 symptoms. Employers that choose to measure employee body temperatures and monitor for other symptoms should:
- Establish a consistent process for conducting such screening and excluding symptomatic individuals to promote workplace safety;
- Adopt measures to mitigate the risk of claims under laws related to discrimination, wage payment, leaves of absence or medical privacy; and
- Be mindful of employee relations considerations.
The Temperature and Symptom Screening Toolkit, which was prepared by Littler Mendelson, P.C., is intended to assist employers to achieve these objectives.