EEOC Issues COVID-Related Employment Guidance

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued extensive COVID-related Q&A employment guidance, including initial employee screening, questions that may and may not be asked of employees about their health and medical condition, confidentiality of medical information, remote work in relation to disability considerations, and potential litigation issues.  Pre-COVID, remote work options were highly fact-specific and not routinely allowed. Through the EEOC's lens of disability-related "reasonable accommodation," remote work does not amount to an employee entitlement. Rather, employers are encouraged to evaluate whether certain employees have a disability warranting remote work arrangements. Other employees may or may not need to return to in-person work, as employers may determine in their discretion. In all situations, employers should carefully evaluate whether and to what extent remote work arrangements make sense - given their business needs, employees' work activities, special medical needs of certain employees, and related considerations like morale, training, and timing. The EEOC's guidance is available here.