SHRM Requests Technical Assistance – EEOC Responds with New Technical Assistance

On June 5, SHRM’s Government Affairs team sent a letter on behalf of HR professionals and businesses across the U.S. to EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon requesting guidance as employers navigate the return to work. In the letter, SHRM inquired about three areas of critical concern: employee testing and contact tracing, employee inquiries, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for vulnerable workers.

“We believe it is especially important to provide employers with guidance on these topics now given the mass reopening of businesses across the country,” SHRM stated in its letter.

On June 11, the EEOC posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under federal equal employment opportunity laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of SHRM’s questions were answered.

The publication, “ What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” provides approaches employers may adopt as they plan for employees returning to the workplace, including information to all employees about who to contact with requests for disability accommodation or other flexibilities. The publication also addresses requests for accommodation in the employer’s process for workplace screening, as well as frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and age, pregnancy and sex discrimination involving employees with caretaking or family responsibilities.