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Return to Work Update: Antibody Testing Not Permitted

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Recent CDC guidance issued for antibody testing indicates these results, “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace”. Acting upon this guidance, the EEOC specifically addressed this in its June 17, 2020 update stating that antibody testing constitutes a medical examination under the ADA which does not meet the standard for mandatory medical testing that is “job related and consistent with business necessity.”

Serology testing (diagnostic identification of antibodies) provides an indicator of whether a person’s body created antibodies to fight the virus. This differs from a COVID-19 viral test used to determine if someone has an active case of COVID-19. Bottom line, employers may not require employees to take COVID-19 antibody testing to return to the workplace.

Under the ADA, it is still permissible for employers to conduct mandatory COVID-19 testing, to make inquiries about COVID-19 symptoms, and to measure employee’s body temperature prior to permitting an employee to enter the workplace. If you are still considering how to safely reopen or have already reopened, temperature checking and screening for symptoms should be a part of your compliance strategy. THRM now offers a cost-effective, customizable solution for conducting these daily health assessments. Please reach out to Edna or your THRM consultant if you’d like to learn more.

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