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Covid Testing in the Workplace Is Tricky. Here's What Experts Recommend

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27.08.2020

As you and your employees return to the office, you may be considering whether to adopt Covid-19 testing or mandatory temperature checks and health surveys. Tread lightly--especially if you're planning to require Covid-19 testing. Businesses must comply with a raft of health regulations and protect employee privacy.

In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor authorized the practice of collecting medical information such as taking temperatures. The government also approved conducting Covid-19 tests in the workplace, which employers typically can't do. "I think there is a general need to know that the person walking into your facility does not have a fever currently," says Erin McLaughlin, labor and employment attorney at Pittsburgh-based law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Testing in general, she says, and keeping track that employees who are coming into the workplace are healthy may give your business a layer of liability protection in case someone does get sick.

And that may still be true, regardless of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which on August 24 announced that people who do not show symptoms of Covid-19 and have not been in close contact with someone known to have a Covid-19 infection need not get tested. Previously, the CDC recommended testing for Covid-19 regardless of a person's symptoms. The shift is controversial.

"It doesn't seem consistent with the information the organization........

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