Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Alerts

Guidance for Employers Concerning Employees Returning to Work After COVID-19

4.17.2020

We have previously blogged about recording and reporting COVID-19 cases and what to do when an employee tests positive.  This post will address what an employer should do when an employee out ill with COVID-19 wants to return to work.

Both the CDC and the EEOC have issued guidance about individuals ending home isolation and returning to work after having COVID-19.  Employers should review and follow this guidance, which is summarized below.

The CDC Guidance on Ending Home Isolation

The CDC’s guidance addresses when an individual with COVID-19 may end his or her home isolation and therefore, return to work. The CDC’s guidance provides: 

  • If the employee is unable to have a COVID-19 test to ascertain contagiousness, he or she can stop isolation if (1) no fever has been present for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers); (2) symptoms have improved; and (3) at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • If the employee is able to be tested for COVID-19, isolation may be ended if: (1) there is no fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers); (2) symptoms have improved; and (3) results from two tests taken 24 hours apart were both negative.

The EEOC’s Guidance on Returning to Work

The EEOC specifically addresses what may be required of employees before returning to work in an FAQ.  The FAQ provides that employers are permitted to require employees to provide a note certifying their fitness for duty.  However, the EEOC notes that doctors and other health care professionals may be too busy during the current crisis to provide fitness-for-duty documentation.  As such, the EEOC suggests that new approaches may be needed, such as having a clinic provide a form, a stamp, or an e-mail to certify that an individual does not have COVID-19.

If you are an employer with concerns about employees recovering from COVID-19 returning to the workplace, contact Tracy Armstrong, Ashley Morin, or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.

BLOG DISCLAIMER

The postings on this blog were created for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services.  Although we attempt to ensure that the postings are complete, accurate, and current as of the date of publication, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness.  The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

This blog may contain links to independent third party websites and services, including social media. We provide these links for your convenience, and you access them at your own risk.  We have no control over and do not monitor the content or policies (including privacy policies) of these third-party websites and have no responsibility for, and no liability with respect to, their content, accuracy, or reliability.  Unless expressly stated, we do not endorse any of the linked websites or any product, service, or publication referenced herein or therein.  We will remove a link to any site from this blog upon request of the linked entity.

We grant permission to readers to link to this blog so long as this blog is not misrepresented. This site is not sponsored or associated with any other site unless so identified.

If you wish for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., to consider representing you, please obtain contact information from the Contact Us area of this blog or go to the firm’s website at www.wilentz.com.  One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. However, the authors of Wilentz blogs are licensed only in New Jersey and/or New York and do not wish to represent anyone who viewed this site in a state where the site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

PRIVACY POLICY