Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – the leading national public health institute of the United States – published guidance that indicated individuals who are fully vaccinated against Coronavirus (COVID-19) do not need to wear a mask or physically distance in certain indoor environments, but it does not impact COVID-19 guidance published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The CDC guidance – which does not apply to healthcare settings and certain environments – applies to “fully vaccinated” individuals who have received either a second dose of a two-dose series or one dose of a single dose series and at least two weeks have passed since the most recent dose. The CDC guidance does not impact the current EEOC guidance which permits employers to cautiously ask employees whether they are vaccinated.

On December 16, 2020, the EEOC – which enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – issued an updated COVID-19 assistance publication that addressed questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with new information for employers and employees about COVID-19 vaccinations, according to an EEOC press release.

The EEOC publication – “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” – included the new section “K. Vaccinations” that provided information to employers and employees about how a COVID-19 vaccination interacts with the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, transgender status, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws. To learn more about the EEOC, visit www.eeoc.gov.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of May 17, 2021, there are more than 163 million global cases and more than 3.3 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with more than 32 million cases and more than 585,000 deaths, according to research from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was ranked the number one enterprise screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – uses best practices for background checks for Coronavirus, offers a white paper about background checks in the Age Coronavirus, and posts blogs about how COVID-19 is impacting employers on the ESR News Blog. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

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