Accommodation Landmines Await
EEOC Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation and Return-to-Work Issues
On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance for employers, providing further technical assistance about complying with workplace issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the EEOC’s new Q&As for employers concern how to handle employees’ accommodation requests in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the agency advised that employers may ask questions or request medical documentation to determine if the employee has a “disability” under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”). Employers also may forgo or shorten the “interactive process” and grant the accommodation requests, if necessary.