Long-Term COVID-19 Symptoms Raise Specter of Future Failure-to-Hire Claims

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Contact

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reminded employers that people suffering long-term COVID-19 symptoms could be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These symptoms include fatigue, respiratory restrictions, and “brain fog,” all of which could interfere with an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions.

The prospect of such long-term symptoms raises the possibility that employers may hesitate to hire or promote workers who they believe could be affected by such symptoms. Of course, employers cannot ask about medical history such as COVID-19 infections during interviews. However, an applicant could disclose such information, or employers could know about a previous infection for employees being considered for promotion.

In either case, excluding a person from employment simply because they are recovering from COVID-19 could violate the “regarded as” or “history of a” disability prohibitions under the ADA. Employers could not use generalized fear of long-term symptoms as exclusionary criteria. Any employment decisions that take into account potential lingering COVID-19 symptoms would need to be treated the same as any other medical condition. In addition to basing decisions on accurate and current medical information, the employer would need to explore accommodating any actual restrictions imposed due to previous infections.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Contact
more
less

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.