On Wednesday, June 17, the EEOC released new guidelines about antibody testing and requiring testing before employees go back to work.
According to the new guidance, employers are not allowed to require employees to take a COVID-19 antibody test prior to returning to work. An antibody test is designed to determine if an individual previously had COVID-19 and has built up an immunity to it. These are different that tests that show if an employee is presently infected with COVID-19.
If you want your employees to be tested for COVID-19, you can require a COVID-19 test. However, it is your responsibility to choose reliable tests that are consistent with the ADA standard. Make sure you know beforehand if a certain test tends to produce a false positive or a false negative. Also, even if all of your employees test negative for COVID-19 before coming to work, you are still responsible for creating a work environment that is safe as possible. This includes keeping up with all the infection control practices like social distancing and disinfecting common areas. Remember that COVID-19 tests only show infection at the time of taking the test. An individual can still be infected after the test is taken.
As the pandemic continues, new information is a constant. The EEOC recommends following the most current guidelines and responding to the most recent information on what you should be doing. The EEOC provides a website all about the coronavirus and their most recent information. If you have any further questions, please contact us.