COVID Human Resource FAQs

CREDIT: MRA

They have many great resources supporting your Human Resources needs regarding COVID-19.

Human Resources and COVID FAQs

Q: What if my employee is showing signs of an illness?
A: Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should be encouraged to stay home and not come to
work until they are free of fever. Asking an employee who is showing symptoms of a contagious illness to leave the
premises is an acceptable and reasonable request. Continue to communicate regularly with the employee and
allow the employee to return to work when they are free from fever for at least 24 hours.

Q: Can an employer take an employees’ temperature before allowing them to enter the workplace, as a
cautionary measure?
A: Generally, measuring an employee’s body temperature is a medical examination under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), and thus is prohibited. Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have
acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued precautions, the EEOC is temporarily relaxing its
position on this topic and allowing employers to measure employees’ body temperature. However, employers
should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever.

Q: Can we complete Form I-9 remotely?
A: Yes, during these circumstances, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it will allow flexibility
with Form I-9 paperwork if individuals are not physically present in the workplace.
Employers taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s
identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers still
need to inspect the Section 2 documents, but may do remotely (i.e. video, fax, email, etc.) within three business
days and retain copies of documents.

Employers should then enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Additional
Information field in Section 2 as soon as physical inspection takes place after normal business operations
resume. Additionally, once the documents have been physically inspected, employers should write that there were
“documents physically examined on (date of inspection)” in Section 2 Additional Information field, or Section 3 if
applicable, on Form I-9.

These provisions may be implemented by employers until May 19, 2020 or within 3 business days after the
termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first. Employers who use this option should have written
documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy.

Q: Should I be reviewing my discrimination and ADA policies?
A: Yes, to prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, do not make determinations of risk based on race or
country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of employees with confirmed COVID-19.

  • The EEOC has said that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but they do not interfere
    with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC about steps
    employers should take regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • The ADA prohibits making disability-related inquiries or medical exams, unless job-related and consistent
    with business necessity, or the employer has reasonable belief that the employee poses a direct threat to
    the health or safety of employees. During an outbreak, employers should seek public health advice to make
    reasonable assessments to determine if situations rise to a “direct threat.”
  • Employees may be eligible for leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA or related state or
    local law, if the underlying condition constitutes a qualifying disability.
  • The EEOC has provided guidance that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.

    Post expires at 6:15am on Thursday October 1st, 2020

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