May 11, 2023 marked the end of the two federal COVID-19 Emergency Orders. To address the announced end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Orders, on May 15, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued key updates to its COVID-19 technical assistance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”
As the EEOC reminds employers, the end of the federal Orders does not alter employers’ legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other federal equal employment opportunity laws.
The updates provide practical guidance for employers on how to properly address ongoing COVID-related employment issues, such as COVID-19 screening procedures, reasonable accommodations for Long COVID, the continuing need to assess reasonable accommodations that were provided due to pandemic-related circumstances, and harassment and discrimination issues that may arise due to COVID-19 precautions.
This update is a reminder to employers to review their existing policies to ensure continued compliance with workplace COVID-19 and anti-discrimination laws. Employers should also keep in mind that different state and local regulations may have continued COVID-19 requirements for employers. For a more detailed review of the EEOC’s technical assistance, click here.