This Won’t Hurt a Bit: Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders, as of April 24, 2020

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Governors and public health officials across the country have implemented stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19, such as stay at home and face covering mandates. Some jurisdictions also require employers to screen the health of employees, often as they begin a shift. These health screening steps, including temperature checks, may become more common as states begin to reopen their economies.

This post, current as of April 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (CDT), covers laws and orders that require employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other employee health screening procedures, such as asking employees about any COVID-19-consistent symptoms using a questionnaire or checklist. This chart covers only generally applicable requirements and does not cover the heightened requirements applicable to certain types of employees, such as healthcare workers; public health workers; long-term care, assisted living, and nursing home workers; first responders; and law enforcement. We will update this list regularly but expect it will become outdated quickly as new announcements are made.

Note that this list does not include temperature or health screening requirements at the local level. In addition, this post does not address other significant issues related to employer screenings of employee health, including potential wage and hour, discrimination, and privacy concerns. As a result, employers should consult with counsel for details on additional orders that may apply to their operations and for guidance on related legal questions.

Jurisdiction

Temperature Screening

Other Health Screening

Alabama

No requirement

No requirement

Alaska

No requirement

No requirement

Arizona

No requirement

No requirement

Arkansas

No requirement

No requirement

California

No requirement. NOTE: At least one California county recommends employee temperature screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

No requirement. NOTE: Some California counties have varying degrees of requirements for employee health screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Colorado

No requirement

Recommended. In accordance with CDC guidance, employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and sent home. Employers may use an employee health screening form.

Connecticut

Recommended. Employees should take their temperature before they go to work. If they have a temperature above 100.4F, they should stay home.

No requirement

Delaware

Required for high-risk businesses and recommended for all others: each employee must be asked about and report body temperature at or above 99.5F. If a facility has the capability to perform active temperature monitoring, they may do so.

Division of Public Health Essential Services Screening Policy

Required for high-risk businesses and recommended for all others: employers must screen each incoming employee with a basic questionnaire.

District of Columbia

No requirement

Required. Retail food sellers (including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, food halls, and food banks) must check employees for symptoms before their shifts and exclude employees with cold- or flu-like symptoms. If an employee exhibits symptoms during shift, exclude that employee.

Florida

No requirement

No requirement

Georgia

No requirement

Required for restaurants, food establishments, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, and personal care services. Employers must screen and evaluate employees who exhibit signs of illness, such as a fever over 100.4F, cough, or shortness of breath. Employers must require employees who exhibit signs of illness to seek medical attention and not report to work.

Strongly recommended for all other businesses.

Gyms and fitness centers are also required to screen patrons at entrance and refuse entry to those displaying symptoms.

Hawaii

No requirement

No requirement

Idaho

No requirement

No requirement

Illinois

No requirement

Recommended. Employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.

Indiana

No requirement

No requirement

Iowa

Recommended. Employees with temperatures 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should be sent home. Employees should be screened before and after each shift. Employers should use the screening algorithm.

Recommended. Employers should also screen the employees for coughs, sore throats, difficulty breathing and any other respiratory symptoms. Employees should be screened before and after each shift. Employers should use the screening algorithm.

Kansas

No requirement

No requirement

Kentucky

No requirement

No requirement

Louisiana

No requirement

Recommended. Employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms upon arrival to work should be separated from other employees and sent home.

Maine

No requirement

No requirement

Maryland

Recommended when an outbreak becomes sufficiently severe or widespread.

No requirement

Massachusetts

No requirement

No requirement

Michigan

No requirement

No requirement. NOTE: Some Michigan counties have varying degrees of requirements for employee health screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Minnesota

Recommended. Employers should consider regular health checks (e.g., temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of staff and visitors entering buildings if feasible.

Required for meatpacking industry employers. Such employers must conduct temperature screening if it can be done with proper social distancing and hygiene. If a worker has an oral or aural temperature above 99.5F confirmed with oral or aural thermometer, the worker should be further evaluated by a plant occupational health nurse, who can determine if the employee can go home to recover, or should report to healthcare.

Recommended. Employers should consider regular health checks (e.g., temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of staff and visitors entering buildings if feasible.

Required for meatpacking industry employers. Such employers must conduct screening each time employees or visitors enter the facility using the following verbal screening questions listed in the guidance.

Required for industrial, manufacturing, and office-based businesses reopening on or after April 27: such employers' COVID-19 Preparedness Plans must include employee health screening procedures.

Mississippi

No requirement

No requirement

Missouri

No requirement

No requirement

Montana

No requirement

No requirement

Nebraska

No requirement

No requirement

Nevada

No requirement

Recommended for grocery employers. Employers should monitor employees for signs of illness and require sick workers to stay home.

New Hampshire

No requirement

No requirement

New Jersey

No requirement

No requirement

New Mexico

Recommended for restaurants, retail food stores, and food delivery services.

Recommended for restaurants, retail food stores, and food delivery services.

New York

No requirement

No requirement

North Carolina

No requirement. NOTE: Some North Carolina counties have varying degrees of requirements for employee temperature screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

No requirement. NOTE: Some North Carolina counties have varying degrees of requirements for employee health screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

North Dakota

Recommended. Employers may check employees’ temperatures when they arrive to work.

Recommended. If an employee calls in sick, an employer may ask the employee if they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19.

Ohio

Recommended. Employers should screen employees each day before work if they cannot work from home. An employee with a temperature of 100.4F must be sent home. If an employer cannot take employees’ temperatures, the employer should have employees take their temperatures at home and stay home if they have a fever.

Recommended. If employees do not have a thermometer at home, the employer should screen employees using a basic questionnaire regarding symptoms.

Oklahoma

No requirement. NOTE: At least one Oklahoma county recommends employee temperature screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

No requirement

Oregon

No requirement

No requirement

Pennsylvania

Recommended generally, required for confirmed exposure. Employers may take employees’ temperatures before they begin work and send employees home if they have a fever of 100.4F or above. If the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID19, employers shall implement the above temperature screening protocol.

Required for construction employers. Such employers must employ jobsite screening based on CDC guidance to determine if employees should work and prohibit any employees with any symptoms of COVID-19 from working.

Puerto Rico

No requirement

Required. Employers must implement a protocol to monitor and screen personnel prior to entering the workplace, along with the procedures to follow in case they detect an employee with symptoms.

Rhode Island

No requirement

Recommended. Employers are recommended to have employees complete a verbal health screening and ask them if they are experiencing any of the specified symptoms related to COVID-19.

South Carolina

No requirement

No requirement

South Dakota

No requirement

Recommended. Employers can ask employees screening questions when they report to work and keep a daily screening log.

Tennessee

No requirement

No requirement

Texas

Required for retail businesses that are reopening. The Department of State Health Services guidance requires that all employees must be screened before coming into the business for specified symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including feeling feverish or a measured temperature of 100.0F or greater. The guidance does not state that employers must take employees’ temperatures. NOTE: Some Texas counties also have varying degrees of requirements for employee temperature screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Required for retail businesses that are reopening. All employees must be screened before coming into the business for specified symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home. NOTE: Some Texas counties also have varying degrees of requirements for employee health screenings. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Utah

No requirement

Recommended. Management should screen employees on a daily basis and at the beginning of each shift for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Employees who present symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should not be permitted to work at the physical premises of the business.

Vermont

No requirement

No requirement

Virginia

Recommended. All critical infrastructure/essential personnel, regardless of known exposure, should self-monitor for symptoms under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program including taking their own temperatures before each work shift to check for fever.

Recommended. All critical infrastructure/essential personnel, regardless of known exposure, should self-monitor for symptoms under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program including taking their own temperatures before each work shift to check for fever. All businesses/employers should consider requesting their staff to self-monitor for symptoms even in the absence of a formal, onsite occupational health program.

Washington

No requirement

Recommended. All employers are advised to screen everyone who enters their facility, including all employees before the start of each work shift and all visitors. The guidance lists suggested screening questions.

West Virginia

Required for certain employers. Restaurant and bar employers “are being requested” to monitor their employees daily for common symptoms of COVID-19, including checking employees’ temperatures upon arrival for work.

Required for certain employers. Restaurant and bar employers “are being requested” to monitor their employees daily for common symptoms of COVID-19, including checking employees’ temperatures upon arrival for work.

Wisconsin

No requirement

No requirement

Wyoming

No requirement

No requirement

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.

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